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

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.

Total Credit Hours138
Studio 60
  • CP 1010 Core Studio Practice I (3)
  • CP 1011 Core Studio Practice II (3)
  • CP 1010 Core Research Studio I (3)
  • CP 1010 Core Research Studio II (3)
  • Sophomore Seminar (3)
  • Drawing (6)
  • Painting (3)
  • Printmedia (3)
  • Ceramics or Sculpture (3)
  • Studio electives—includes 12 credits of 3000-level or above (30)
Art History 18
  • ARTHI 1001 World Cultures/Civilizations: Pre-History to 19th Century Art & Architecture (3)
  • Art History Elective at 1000 level (3)
  • Art History Electives and/or Visual and Critical Studies—includes 6 credits global/comparative (12)
Liberal Arts 30
  • English (6)
    • ENGLISH 1001 First Year Seminar I (3)
    • ENGLISH 1005 First Year Seminar II (3)
  • Natural Science (6)
  • Math (3)
  • Social Science (6)
  • Humanities (6)
  • Liberal Arts Electives (3)
Professional Education 30
  • ARTED 3120 Histories, Theories & Philosophy American Public Education (3)
  • ARTED 3125 Doing Democracy (3)
  • ARTED 3211 Curriculum & Instruction (3)
  • ARTED 4100 Cultural Approaches to Production (3)
  • ARTED 4220 Psychological, Sociological, and Phenomenological Approaches to Teaching (3)
  • ARTED 4390 Fieldwork: Elementary and Secondary Experiences (3)
  • ARTED 4490 Apprentice Teaching (12)
  1. Teacher candidates must pass three Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) tests and the and the edTPA clinical practice assessment to qualify for teacher licensure. The three required ILTS tests are: 
    1. Test of Academic Proficiency—taken and passed before enrolling in the Teacher preparation Coursework;
    2. Visual Arts Content Area Test—taken and passed before pre-clinical fieldwork; and
    3. Pre-K through 12 Assessment of Professional Teaching Test—taken and passed before obtaining the teaching license.
  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.

Transfer Students

Total credits required for minimum residency 66
Minimum studio credit 30
Minimum professional education courses 30

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