Here are the requirements you must meet to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Art Education (BFAAE) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Fieldwork Requirement

BFAAE candidates complete 90 hours of preclinical observations in diverse classroom settings. The preclinical observations are followed by 490 hours of student teaching in ARTED 4490 Apprentice Teaching, equal to 12 credits. Student teachers are placed in two Chicago public schools for 14 weeks and are supervised by SAIC faculty members and on-site cooperating teachers. Student teachers meet with faculty for a weekly seminar to review lesson plans, strategies, and experiences.

Teacher Licensure Requirements

SAIC’s BFAAE teacher preparation program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The BFAAE degree meets the current requirements for the State of Illinois K–12 Visual Arts Professional Educator License.

Although SAIC's teacher preparation coursework often meets the teacher licensure requirements for other states and countries, SAIC cannot guarantee that an Illinois Professional Educator License will be honored outside of Illinois.

In order to qualify for teacher licensure in the State of Illinois, teacher candidates must pass three ILTS tests. The three tests are:

1) ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency (or Illinois State Board of Education approved equivalent);

2) ILTS Visual Arts Content Area Test; and

3) ILTS Pre-K through 12 Assessment of Professional Teaching Test (APT).

In addition to passing the three required ILTS tests, candidates must also pass the edTPA Clinical Practice Assessment in order to qualify for teacher licensure in Illinois.

The State of Illinois testing and assessment requirements periodically change. As a result, candidates for Illinois licensure may be required to complete a different set of tests and/or assessments than those noted above.

Total Credit Hours126
Studio 66
  • CP 1010 Core Studio Practice I (3)
  • CP 1011 Core Studio Practice II (3)
  • CP 1020 Core Research Studio I (3)
  • CP 1022 Core Research Studio II (3)
  • SOPHSEM 2900 (3)
  • PROFPRAC 3900: Curriculum & Instruction (3)
  • CAPSTONE 4900: Cultural Approaches to Production: Art Education (3)
  • Drawing (6)
  • Painting (3)
  • Printmedia (3)
  • Ceramics or Sculpture (3)
  • Studio electives—includes 12 credits of 3000-level or above (30)
     PROFPRAC and CAPSTONE are now required for new incoming students beginning in the 2015-16 academic year.
Art History 12
  • ARTHI 1001 World Cultures/Civilizations: Pre-History to 19th Century Art & Architecture (3)
  • Art History Elective at 1000 level (3)
  • Art History/Visual and Critical Studies (6)
Liberal Arts 30
  • ENGLISH 1001 First Year Seminar I (3)
  • ENGLISH 1005 First Year Seminar II (3)
  • Natural Science (3)
  • Math (3)
  • Social Sciences (6)
  • Humanities (6)
  • ARTED 3120 Histories, Theories & Philosophy of American Public Education (3)
  • ARTED 4220 Psychological, Sociological, and Phenomenological Approaches to Teaching (3)
Art Education 18
  • ARTED 3125 Doing Democracy (3)
  • ARTED 4390 Fieldwork: Elementary and Secondary Experiences (3)
  • ARTED 4490 Apprentice Teaching (12)

Transfer Students

Total credits required for minimum residency 66
Minimum Studio Credit Hours 12
Minimum Professional Education Credit Hours 30

BFAAE Degree Requirements and Specifications

1. Program Testing and Assessment Requirements

Please note: Teacher candidates are required to take the APT test and/or the edTPA assessment while enrolled in the BFAAE program. Passing scores on the APT test and edTPA assessment are required for the State of Illinois Professional Educator License, but not the conferral of the BFAAE degree.

Candidates who complete the degree requirements, but do not pass the APT test and/or edTPA assessment, will have the following qualifier posted on their transcript: ‘Candidate is not eligible for the State of Illinois Professional Educator License at this time’. The qualifier will be removed after the candidate meets all current State of Illinois Professional Educator License requirements.

2. Teacher candidates must complete a fingerprint based background check at the beginning of the first semester of teacher preparation coursework and before the beginning of student teaching coursework. If the results of the teacher candidate’s background check do not meet Chicago Public School district’s standards, the candidate will not be able to continue in the teacher preparation program.

3. Fees: Candidates are responsible for all fees related to testing, edTPA assessment or equivalent, and background checks. Candidates are also responsible for any TB tests, physical exams, etc. that may be required by school districts that the department is affiliated with.

Interested in learning more?

Visit the Department of Art Education website for information on the curriculum, faculty, and resources offered through the department.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the undergraduate admissions website or contact the undergraduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or