When will I hear about the outcome of my application?
Our goal is to communicate the results of the application process to all applicants by mid-March.

Can I apply to the program if I do not have teaching experience?
Yes, you are welcome to apply to the program even if you have never taught. All students who do not have a teaching license will be required to earn one through their coursework. Please note that earning the MAE + licensure will take longer than the MAE degree.

If I am an international applicant, is there anything special I need to do?

Prospective Graduate Students from Outside the U.S.

Prospective students who have studied outside of the United States must provide an external credential evaluation from a NACES-accredited company as part of the admissions process. This report should be sealed, unopened, and sent directly to the International Admissions department (see address below). All official transcripts and relevant credentials (e.g., diplomas) will be required if admitted. Common examples of accepted evaluations include AACRAO, WES, and ECE.

Prospective transfer students also should submit any college transcripts, and if any prior study was outside of the U.S., a NACES-accredited external course by course evaluation must be submitted for any foreign credentials. The report should be sealed and unopened, and submitted directly to the International Admissions Department. If admitted, all official transcripts and relevant documents (e.g., diplomas) would be required.

Transfer students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities

If you are transferring from a university-level institution within the U.S., you must submit your secondary school records as well as university transcripts. Admission will be based on your U.S. records only if you have completed more than one year of full-time study.

Transfer students from within the U.S. must be in good academic standing and eligible to return to the last college or university attended. You must submit the International Student Adviser Transfer form and comply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations.

Your U.S. school’s foreign student adviser should complete the I-20 transfer form and send it to international admissions.

International Admissions
Virginia Commonwealth University
Division of Strategic Enrollment Management
Office of Admissions
Blair House
408 West Franklin Street
P.O. Box 853012
Richmond, VA 23284-3012

International students must also meet the requirements set forth by VCU’s Global Education Office.

Can I switch between the two degree tracks?
No. You are admitted to a specific degree track based upon your qualifications. In order to earn your degree, you need to complete all the requirement for the degree track into which you were admitted.

Can I apply to the program if I do not have a degree in art education, art, or art history?
To be considered for the program, applicants must have 36 undergraduate credits of studio art and art history. If you do not have these credits, you may enroll at VCU or another university to earn the pre-requisites as a non-degree student. When you have completed (or are in your final semester) of earning these credits, you are welcome to apply to the MAE program. There are no exceptions made to this rule.

How long will this degree take to complete?
The length of time needed to complete the degree depends on how many courses you take each semester and the time taken to conduct research and complete a thesis. Full time students who are already licensed and take 9-12 hours per semester and hours in the summer may expect to complete their degree in 2 years. Part time students should expect the degree to take longer.

How many credit hours may I transfer from another university and/or from VCU (taken prior to applying to a program)? And how do I do this?
Students may request that 6 graduate credit hours may be transferred into the program from another university or from courses taken at VCU prior to applying to the program. Only 6 total credit hours may be transferred. Those credit hours must not be older than 6 years at the time of graduation from the MAE program. To transfer credit hours, students must submit an official transcript to the Graduate Program Director and a copy of syllabi from the courses taken or a description of the work completed in those courses. The Graduate Programs Committee will review the courses and make a decision.

What GPA do students need to maintain?
Per the requirements of the Graduate School at VCU, all graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA in all of their coursework. If a student receives a grade lower than a ‘B’, s/he can be dismissed from the program.

What are the thesis options?
A traditional thesis involves a formal research study grounded in art and education theory and analyzed through a chosen research methodology. In addition to fulfilling the student’s interests and needs, a thesis must also be designed to contribute to the field of art education. A thesis fully explores a question important to art education by gathering information (data) and reaching a conclusion. A formal research study might involve quantitative (such as an experiment) or qualitative inquiry (such as a case study) that serves existing or proposed practice. A project approach to the thesis requires a written component similar to a traditional thesis. For example, a curriculum model may be developed and analyzed. In lieu of the thesis, students may take a comprehensive exam which involves your written responses to questions formulated by your committee. All thesis options require an oral exam review.

How long do I have to complete the MAE degree?
University rules limit students to a 6-year time frame for the degree.

I teach school everyday. Is it possible to pursue this degree off-campus?
The Art Education courses for your degree must be taken through the Richmond campus of VCU. At times, classes may be offered online or during the summer. Students may take some approved elective courses through the Office of Community Programs. These are the off-campus studio art courses. Talk to your adviser for more information.

How many courses or credit hours must I take each semester?
University policy states that a student must be enrolled for 1 course per year before candidacy and 1 credit per semester after admission to candidacy.

I would like to teach studio art at the college level. Is the MAE the right degree for me?
If you are interested in teaching studio art at the college level, you should pursue the MFA degree. Please contact the various departments in the School of the Arts for their specific requirements with regard to the MFA.

How many people do I need to have on my committee?
Students must have an adviser and 2 additional committee members. Students must formalize their committee before they apply for candidacy.


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