Art Education students engaged in classroom discussion

Art Education

Accredited by NASAD and CAEP, the two major national accreditation organizations for design and education, USC Upstate offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education degree that leads to initial certification to teach art in K-12 schools.  This practical preparation of qualified individuals is designed to provide graduates experiences in studio art, art history, educational theories and dispositions that will prepare them to teach effectively.

Art Education students begin their program of study in the foundation courses of the visual arts department.  After successfully completing these courses and required general education courses, students apply to the Professional Art Education Program when they have completed 60 hours of work.


The primary mission of the Art Education Program supports the University’s mission by improving our students’ ability to be effective visual communicators and to increase their perception of the global environments of art and education, as well as to consider global shifts in visual codes. The integrated content areas of visual arts theory: production, history, criticism and aesthetics, develops the necessary creative and technical skills involved in creative problem solving. Attention is paid to the preparation of highly qualified candidates for licensure in K-12 art classrooms or employment in museums, and community art organizations in the Upstate and surrounding areas.

For information contact: Dr. Derek Fenner, Program Director,

  • Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

     1. Students will be able to apply the basic studio skills, content knowledge of art and teaching methodologies.

    1.1 Teacher Candidates will be knowledgeable of human development, learning theories, instructional strategies, diverse learners, and educational psychology.

    1.2 Teacher candidates will possess thorough and accurate knowledge of the visual art content.

    2. The student will have competency to demonstrate student learning in the art classroom.

    2.1 The student will create teacher work sample (TWS) during ARTE 450.

    2.2 The student will implement the TWS during the student teaching semester ARTE 459/460.

  • Detailed guidelines and requirements may be obtained from the USC Upstate Admissions Office and the Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies. Admission of applicants is based on individual consideration.
    Each applicant must fulfill the following requirements:
    • Completion of English 101 and 102
    • Speech 201 and Art 103 or their equivalents, with grades of “C” or better
    • Successful completion of Math 120 or equivalent
    • GPA of at least 2.75 on at least 60 hours earned
    • The achievement of passing scores on all three sections of the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST)
    • Two letters of recommendation from faculty
    • Clear criminal record from South Carolina Law Enforcement Division
    When the student completes the required content course work and practicum hours, he/she will apply for admission to a directed (student) teaching course.
    The following criteria must be met:
    • Admission to the Professional Program
    • Minimum 2.75 GPA
    • 90 semester hours completed (at end of the current semester)
    • 100 hours of practicum in the schools
    • A grade of “C” or better in the Professional Education courses
    • FBI fingerprint card
    • 100 hours of practical experience in public schools of the upstate
    • Visitation to diverse school populations 
    • Development of e-portfolio throughout the program 
    • Engagement in highly technical programs 
    • Direct, hands-on learning experience with FOCUS Gallery for schools 
    • Service-Learning with Spartanburg Art Museum and other art agencies
    • Spartanburg Art Museum
    • The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg
    • The Public Schools of the Upstate
    • BA Art Education
    • Entrance Requirements
    • Program of Study