Education: K-12 Education, Art (BFA)

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts
Major: Art
Concentration: K-12 Teaching
Program Code: 3270

About This Major . . .

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree leads to licensure for Colorado K-12 Art Education.  The visual art emphasis includes coursework in theory, art history, and studio art.  Art teaching methods courses in Elementary and Secondary Art are an integral part of the degree plan. As a student, you will gradually accumulate over 200 hours of classroom experience before beginning student teaching.  School districts throughout western Colorado provide opportunities to gain experience with children of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of school settings.

A minimum of 75 credit hours of Essential Learning and content area coursework must be completed with a minimum GPA of 2.80 before a candidate may apply for admission to the Center for Teacher Education K-12 licensure program.  Please see the Teacher Education Admission Packet for further information on admissions criteria.  EDUC 115 and EDUC 215 must be taken before applying to the program.

Important information for this program:

  • 2.8 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • K-12 Art licensure candidates are expected to show proficiencies in State of Colorado Performance-Based and Art Model Content Standards. Formal evaluation of that knowledge is shown through a professional proficiency portfolio, developed throughout licensure coursework and reviewed by both Art Education and Teacher Education faculty at the end of the student teaching internship.
  • Candidates are expected to earn a minimum grade of “B” in all licensure classes (EDUC prefix courses), which must be taken in sequence prescribed by the Center for Teacher Education. The licensure sequence is begun during the junior year (usually fall semester), and requires four semesters for completion.
  • Professional dispositions for teaching are measured throughout the licensure sequence and include qualities such as ethical and responsible behaviors, personal presentation, ability to work in collegial capacities, ability to manage time, paperwork and resources, and an aptitude for elevating the academic standing of the Art Education field.
  • Completion of admission to the K-12 Art Licensure program includes:
    • All requirements and prerequisite courses are met for the Center for Teacher Education’s application for admission (usually completed during the sophomore year).
    • A meeting with Art Education faculty to discuss professional goals and establish a timeline for completion of requirements.
    • Must pass all studio and art history courses with a grade of “B” or higher.
    • Completion of ARTE 101ARTE 102ARTE 118ARTE 119ARTS 151ARTS 152, ARTS 225ARTS 241, ARTS 242, and ARTS 274 or ARTS 275 within the first 60 hours.
  • Additional fees are required through the licensure program and range from $200-$300, covering basic proficiency tests, fingerprinting, and content exam, in addition to the cost of textbooks and art materials.
  • Students are required to participate in exit examinations or other programs deemed necessary to comply with the college accountability requirement. 
  • Students must pass the PRAXIS II exam in the content area prior to beginning the student teaching internship.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Art Outcome 1: Interpret and apply formal elements and principles of design. (Critical Thinking)
  2. Art Outcome 2: Demonstrate proper use of tools, materials, techniques, and proper use and care for equipment through quality craftsmanship. (Applied Learning)
  3. Art Outcome 3: Generate individual response through concept and relevant sources of information to create personal content. (Communication Fluency and Information Literacy)
  4. Art Outcome 4: Communicate clearly regarding the critical analysis of art and design both historical and contemporary. (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication Fluency)
  5. Art Outcome 5: Reflect on and respond to ethical, social, civil, and/or environmental challenges as they relate to art, design, and new media. (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  6. Art Outcome 6: Create and sustain a body of work through self-directed research, experimentation, risk-taking, and reflective analysis. (Applied Learning )
  7. Art Outcome 7: Justify analysis of artwork based on concept and materials. (Critical Thinking)
  8. Teacher Education Outcome 1: Demonstrate mastery of major area’s content knowledge and pedagogical strategies through fieldwork with learners in professional settings. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  9. Teacher Education Outcome 2: Design and establish a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  10. Teacher Education Outcome 3: Plan and deliver effective instruction to students, based on research-based pedagogical practices. (Communication Literacy/Information Literacy)
  11. Teacher Education Outcome 4: Collect and analyze student assessment data and use results to inform planning and instruction. (Quantitative Fluency)
  12. Teacher Education Outcome 5: Demonstrate professionalism through ethical conduct, reflection, and leadership. (Personal and Social Responsibility)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Specific to this degree:

  • 2.8 cumulative CPA or higher in all CMU coursework. 

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)
See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 2
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 (or higher)3
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
PSYC 233Human Growth and Development-GTSS3 33
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
FINE 101The Living Arts-GTAH13
Natural Sciences 4
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Select one Natural Sciences course3

6 semester hours, must receive a grade of “B” or better and must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


3 semester hours, must receive a grade of “C” or better, must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


must receive a grade of “B” or better


one course must include a lab

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours

Foundation Courses

(18 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of "B" or higher.  All foundation courses, along with ARTS 225ARTS 241, ARTS 242, and ARTS 274 or ARTS 275 must be completed within the first 60 hours.)

ARTE 101Two-Dimensional Design-GTAH13
ARTE 102Three-Dimensional Design-GTAH13
ARTE 118History of Art, Prehistory to Renaissance-GTAH13
ARTE 119History of Art, Renaissance to Present-GTAH13
ARTS 151Foundation Drawing I3
ARTS 152Foundation Drawing II: Figure Drawing3
Total Semester Credit Hours18

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(30 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “B” or higher.)

  • Candidates are expected to earn a minimum grade of “B” in all licensure classes (EDUC prefix courses), which must be taken in sequence prescribed by the Center for Teacher Education. The licensure sequence is begun during the junior year (usually fall semester), and requires four semesters for completion.
Core Courses
Art Specialization
ARTS 225Introduction to Photography3
ARTS 241Beginning Hand Building3
ARTS 242Beginning Wheel Throwing3
ARTT 270Sculpture I3
ARTS 274Printmaking: Intaglio and Relief3
or ARTS 275 Printmaking: Screen Printing and Lithography
ARTS 291Painting I: Intro to Painting3
Three semester hours of any ARTH 300-level course3
ARTH 400Art Theory3
Art Certification Specialty
6 semester hours of 300-Level ARTS or ARTT courses6
Total Semester Credit Hours30

K-12 Licensure Requirements

(32 semester hours, must earn a grade of “B” or better in each course.)

Program Requirements:  ENGL 111ENGL 112PSYC 233EDUC 115 and EDUC 215 (all with a grade of “B” or better) and formal acceptance to the Teacher Education Program

EDUC 115What It Means To Be An Educator (8 field experience hours)1
EDUC 215Teaching as a Profession (12 field experience hours)1
EDUC 342Pedagogy and Assessment: Secondary and K-12 (20 field experience hours)3
EDUC 343Teaching to Diversity (20 field experience hours)3
ARTD 410Elementary Art Education Methods3
ARTD 410LField/Studio Experience in Elementary Art Education Methods (40 field experience hours)1
ARTD 412Secondary Art Education Methods (40 field experience hours)4
EDUC 442Integrating Literacy Across the Curriculum: Secondary and K-12 Art (60 field experience hours)3
EDUC 475Classroom Management for K-12 Educators1
EDUC 499DTeaching Internship and Colloquia: Elementary for K-12 (300 field experience hours)6
EDUC 499HTeaching Internship and Colloquia: Secondary for K-12 (300 field experience hours)6
Praxis II Exam Passed
Total Semester Credit Hours32

All EDUC prefix courses listed above must be completed with a grade of "B" or better to progress through the program sequence.  Students must pass the PRAXIS II exam in the content area prior to commencing the internship.  Also, ALL other coursework toward the degree must be successfully completed prior to the internship.

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours. 3 semester hours.

Select electives3
Total Semester Credit Hours3
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 3
ARTE 118 History of Art, Prehistory to Renaissance-GTAH1 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
ARTE 101 Two-Dimensional Design-GTAH1 3
ARTS 151 Foundation Drawing I 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
KINA Activity 1
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
ARTE 102 Three-Dimensional Design-GTAH1 3
ARTE 119 History of Art, Renaissance to Present-GTAH1 3
EDUC 115 What It Means To Be An Educator 1
 Semester Credit Hours17
Second Year
Fall Semester
PSYC 233 Human Growth and Development-GTSS3 3
ARTS 242 Beginning Wheel Throwing 3
FINE 101 The Living Arts-GTAH1 3
ARTS 152 Foundation Drawing II: Figure Drawing 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
ARTS 225 Introduction to Photography 3
ARTS 241 Beginning Hand Building 3
ARTS 274
Printmaking: Intaglio and Relief
or Printmaking: Screen Printing and Lithography
EDUC 215 Teaching as a Profession 1
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
Third Year
Fall Semester
ARTT 270 Sculpture I 3
Three semester hours of any ARTH 300-level course 3
ARTS 291 Painting I: Intro to Painting 3
EDUC 342 Pedagogy and Assessment: Secondary and K-12 3
EDUC 343 Teaching to Diversity 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ARTH 400 Art Theory 3
ARTS Upper Division Certification Specialty 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
Essential Learning - History 3
ARTD 410 Elementary Art Education Methods 3
ARTD 410L Field/Studio Experience in Elementary Art Education Methods 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
ARTD 412 Secondary Art Education Methods 4
EDUC 442 Integrating Literacy Across the Curriculum: Secondary and K-12 Art 3
EDUC 475 Classroom Management for K-12 Educators 1
ARTS Upper Division Certification Specialty 3
Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
EDUC 499D Teaching Internship and Colloquia: Elementary for K-12 6
EDUC 499H Teaching Internship and Colloquia: Secondary for K-12 6
 Semester Credit Hours12
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.