Program Sequence


To download a PDF of the MAE program sequence click here.


After taking ARTE 611 and completing at least 9, but no more than 18 graduate credits, all students must apply for degree candidacy. The candidacy exam takes the form of the submission of a student’s literature review, an unofficial transcript, and the completed candidacy form and is due March 1.

Thesis/Thesis Project/Comprehensive Exam

Shortly after candidacy and in consultation with an adviser, all students must decide if they will be completing a thesis, thesis project, or a comprehensive exam. If a student chooses a thesis or thesis project, s/he will enroll in at least 6 credits of thesis writing with her/his adviser over the course of at least 2 semesters. If a student chooses the comprehensive exam option, s/he must take 2 additional Art Education courses at or above the 600 level (not independent study) and complete the comprehensive exam.

If a thesis or thesis project involves human beings in the research, students must complete and be approved by VCU’s IRB review board before collecting any data. This is outlined on the website of VCU’s Office of Research. Please consult your adviser for additional details. Failure to follow the IRB process is a violation of Federal Law and will result in students not being able to use their data for their thesis and may have other significant consequences.


Within the first two weeks of the semester in which students plan to graduate, they must submit their graduation application forms to the Licensure Coordinator in the Department of Art Education. MAE students must be close to completing their thesis, thesis project, or comprehensive exam as well as all coursework. MAE + licensure students must have already completed their thesis, thesis project, or comprehensive exams and be in their student teaching semester. Students must be registered for at least 1 credit in the semester in which they intend to graduate. Final thesis and thesis project documents are due (with all necessary signatures) approximately 4 weeks before graduation each semester. If students miss this deadline, they will not be able to graduate. Consult the VCU Academic Calendar for the exact dates for each semester.


Expectations of graduate students working to attain advanced degrees in School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University are high, reflecting the quality of one of the top art schools in the country.

VCU Art Education graduate students maintain membership in professional organizations and make conference presentations through VAEA and NAEA conventions. Travel and research support may be available though the School of the Arts.

VCU Art Education graduate students conduct meaningful and applicable research that is worthy of publication.

VCU Art Education graduate students are aware of current research issues and trends in art and education. Graduate students are expected to understand, respect, and meet the requirements of the program. Graduate students are responsible for knowing and following all the policies of the VCU Graduate School as explained in the bulletin.


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