Art Education, BFA

Inspire the next generation of artists and art appreciators. As an art educator you’ll engage people of all ages and interests. And you will help them imagine their diverse futures through the prism of art and design.

Our program is different from others – on purpose. We prepare you to teach art in both school and community settings with a special focus on urban education for social justice. With the support and guidance of expert art educators, you’ll engage in extensive, mentored early field experiences followed by student teaching placements. We also make sure you are prepared to advocate for and teach students of various backgrounds, ages and abilities. And because you are an artist yourself, we are committed to helping you develop yourself creatively along the way.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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What it’s like to be a student at Peck School of the Arts

When you study art education at the UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts, you have access to facilities designed with you in mind, including studios in a wide range of disciplines and dedicated art education classrooms stocked with art supplies, a kiln, sewing machines and other tools for top-notch studio preparation in a wide range of media. Plus, we are equipped with instructional technologies commonly used in classrooms so you can master those in a supportive environment.

But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself what it is like to be a student here by scheduling a personalized tour and info session.

Program Details

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education explores the art and craft of writing and teaching curriculum that connects socially engaged, contemporary art and visual culture with the lives, memories, identities and communities of students in a range of educational settings. To give you the most comprehensive teacher preparation possible, we partner with organizations and schools throughout the region, offering you diverse sites to develop your own reflective, resourceful and resilient art teacher identity. When you leave our program you will have the knowledge and skills you need to teach anywhere you like.

A pillar of our program is the ArtsECO (Arts Education/Community Ecosystem), which develops teachers as change-makers. This network of arts organizations, nonprofits and schools wraps your education in support through internships, fellowships, connections and a vibrant student organization. It also supports you after graduation through mentorship, networking and professional development during your early years as an art educator and beyond.

View the Art Education, BFA requirements.


Assessment is aligned with the requirements for licensure under “PI-34,” the state law governing certification in Wisconsin. Students who demonstrate mastery of the knowledge, skills and dispositions of professional educators during student teaching are recommended to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for a PK4-12 teaching license.

Post Baccalaureate

Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in art or equivalent area (subject to faculty review) are eligible to apply for post baccalaureate studies in art education. Through these studies, students complete remaining undergraduate coursework and requirements leading to a recommendation for certification to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to teach art in grades K-12.

Art & Design Studio Disciplines

Led by expert artist faculty, our Art & Design studio disciplines are content areas that provide focus to your creative research, practice and degree. We offer the following studio disciplines: Ceramics, Creative Technologies, Design, Digital Fabrication, Fibers, Jewelry & Metalsmithing, Painting & Drawing, Photography & Imaging, Printmaking & Book Arts and Sculpture.

First Year Program

We don’t expect our new students to figure out college life on their own. Our First Year Program is designed to help new students. In addition to specific coursework carefully chosen to foster success, we connect students to the many resources and opportunities found within a research university. Plus, we surround students with individualized support as they dive deeper into their program and find their way.

Scholarships & Aid

UW-Milwaukee and Peck School of the Arts offer a diverse financial aid package for students, including Midwest residence savings, scholarships, grants, work-study opportunities and student loans.

Living Learning Communities

Live in campus housing on the same floor or wing as other students in your major or program. The Peck School of the Arts offers three Living Learning Communities where you can be a part of a “community within a community.” You’ll make friends, form study groups and do social activities together. And, best of all, there is no additional cost to be a part of a Living Learning Community.

Artists Now! Guest Lecture Series

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, the Artists Now! Guest Lecture Series welcomes a diverse group of nationally and internationally recognized artists working across traditional, hybrid and emergent disciplines. Join us to explore and expand the boundaries of creative visual practices alongside others with an interest in contemporary visual art.

Galleries & Exhibitions

Our art and design programs host many galleries and exhibitions both on campus and throughout the community. Our campus is home to four permanent art galleries, each with its own unique mission. All of them are free, open to the public and accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Milwaukee is also home to dozens of galleries and museums. All students in an Art & Design degree program receive a free annual membership to the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM). That means you can visit MAM and its events, including the popular MAM After Dark series, free of charge while you are a student.

Internships & Opportunities

Students work and intern professionally with Milwaukee’s leading art museums and galleries, creative agencies, corporations and nonprofits. They also find internships across the country and beyond. Discover where your education can take you. Learn more about internships and opportunities.

Student Organizations & Clubs

Meet like-minded people in a wide variety of student organizations and clubs who inspire creativity and will support your aspirations. Collaborate and create, network with professional artists, and deepen your connection with faculty, mentors and fellow students outside of the classroom.

Study Abroad

We believe that a complete education in the arts should take you beyond the classroom and the local community. By studying abroad, you’ll gain more than a change of scenery. You’ll embark on a transformative educational experience and bring a global perspective to your field of study. Explore upcoming trips offered in partnership with the Center for International Education.

Alumni Stories in Art & Design

  • ArtsECO alum who uses art to make a difference in her community receives national award

    Jeanette Arellano, an alum of UWM’s ArtsECO program, uses art in her classroom to make a difference in the Milwaukee community.  Recently, the National Education Association award Arellano with their César Chávez Acción y Compromiso Human and Civil Rights Award. The award acknowledges her for embodying the spirit of César Chávez …
  • Alumni Spotlight: A “Top 10” Designer to Watch

    In the dynamic world of graphic design, Naomi Dable stands as a testament to the power of creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. As the proud owner of Naomi Paper Co., Naomi has been named a "Top 10 Designer to Watch" by an industry magazine.

Careers in Art & Design

  • 3D Animator/Modeler
  • Advertising Director
  • Animator
  • App Developer
  • Arts Administration
  • Art Critic/Writer
  • Art Dealer
  • Art Director
  • Art Education Teacher
  • Art Gallery Owner
  • Art Historian
  • Art Therapist
  • Artisan Solutionist
  • Artist In Residence
  • Artists’ Agent
  • Augmented Reality
  • Blacksmith
  • Caricature Artist
  • Ceramicist
  • Collage Artist
  • Commercial Artist
  • Community Artist
  • Community Arts Organizer
  • Consultant
  • Costume Designer
  • Creative Arts Officer/Director
  • Creative Services Manager
  • Cultural Relations
  • Curator
  • Design Manager
  • Designer
  • Digital Portrait Artist
  • Director of Education & Community Engagement
  • Display Designer
  • Education Program Coordinator
  • Educator
  • Elementary/Secondary School Teacher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Fabricator
  • Fashion Designer
  • Fine Artist
  • Fine Arts Director
  • Floral Designer
  • Font Designer
  • Freelance Artist
  • Furniture Designer/Restorer
  • Game Designer
  • Glass Sculptor
  • Graphic Designer
  • Graphic Artist
  • Illustrator
  • Industrial Designer
  • Interactive Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Jewelry Designer/Maker
  • Lecturer
  • Lighting Designer
  • Makeup Artist
  • Maker
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Metalsmith
  • Mixed Media Artist
  • Motion Graphics Artist
  • Muralist
  • Museum Director
  • Museum Exhibit Designer
  • Packaging Designer
  • Painter
  • Photo Editor/Retoucher
  • Photographer
  • Photographic Stylist
  • Photographic Technician
  • Printmaker
  • Product Designer
  • Production Artist
  • Program Director/Coordinator
  • Prop Maker
  • Public Artist
  • Public Relations
  • Sculptor
  • Set Designer
  • Sketch Artist
  • Stylist
  • Technical Designer, Apparel
  • Textile Designer
  • Toy Maker
  • University Administration
  • University Faculty
  • User Experience Designer
  • User Interface Designer
  • Video Game Designer
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Visual/Special Effects Artist
  • Web Based Curators
  • Web Designer/Developer

Program Faculty

Which faculty you have within this program is dependent upon your chosen courses or interests. For a list of all Art & Design faculty and staff please follow the link below.

Kim Cosier Headshot
  • Professor Emerita, Art Education
Beth Mary Dobberstein HEADSHOT
  • Teaching Faculty II, Art Education
Debra A Hardy HEADSHOT
  • Assistant Professor, Art Education
Diane  Johnson
  • Lecturer, Art Education
Catherine  Loss
  • Lecturer, Art Education
Liz Rex Headshot
  • Teaching Faculty III, Art Education
  • Area Head, Art Education
Important Dates
Art & Design

Undergraduate Application
December 15 – Priority admission and scholarship deadline.

Graduate Application
December 10 – Priority admission and financial support deadline.
February 1 – Application deadline.

The Department of Art & Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and has been since 2017.

Art & Design
Undergraduate Programs
Katie Martin-Meurer,

Graduate Programs
Nicole Ridgway,

General Info & Questions
Contact Form | 414-229-4763