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College of Fine Arts and Communication
School of Art and Design

FAQ's for the MAED in Art Education



Can this Masters Degree be completed entirely online?  


Yes. But we like to meet you, and we encourage you to come to campus once or twice or meet us at the North Carolina Art Education Association conference or the National Art Education Association conference.


If you live near East Carolina University, you may take campus courses as well.

For information questions about how DE courses work, visit the DE website 


Can I obtain my North Carolina teaching licensure through the Art Education MAEd degree?


No. Our undergraduate degree program is a four-year licensure program. Contact Ms. Karli Ruscoe Coordinator, Office of Alternative Licensure, College of Education, for information about a licensure program.


Do I have to have a teacher’s license? 




I have an undergraduate degree in art but no teaching license. Can I apply for this degree?  

You should contact the College of Education Lateral Entry office. They will evaluate your credentials and tell you the best route for obtaining a teaching license in North Carolina. Because our MAEd in Art Education program requires that the candidate be licensed to teach visual art, you will need to finish those requirements before entrance into the graduate program.  

Website for Alternative Licensure 



Karli Ruscoe 

Coordinator of Alternative Licensure 



Do I have to live in North Carolina? 




How do I apply and when are the due dates? 


How long does it take to finish the program? 


The program usually takes 2 years for on-line students who are teaching full time. On-Campus students can finish in 3 semesters.


Can I start taking classes before I am accepted into the program? 


Yes. You may take up to 9 hours as a non degree-seeking student that can be applied toward your degree if you are accepted into the program. First you must apply to the Graduate School for admittance as a non degree seeking student following the process described at the link below; 


As soon as you are accepted, contact Audrey Kilgore and ask to be enrolled in the MAEd Orientation Site. 


It is also very important that you contact the Program Coordinator for Art Education Dr. Cynthia Bickley Green and inform her that you are nondegree seeking and would like to be added to the email list. 


What if my application is not complete by the due date? 


You can still take up to 9 semester hours of courses as a non-degree seeking student and these will transfer into your regular program. The courses must be within the requirements of the degree program.


Which test should I take, MAT or GRE? 


We accept scores from either of the tests. You should take the test you feel most comfortable taking. Review the types of test questions in the test preparation books that you can see at bookstores or for information online visit the GRE and the MAT websites.


Can I see a curriculum checklist? 

Click here for the PDF. 

Is there a specific order that I should take classes? 


There is no specific order for taking the classes. However, some classes are offered on a rotating basis. We recommend that you contact your art education advisor every semester to plan your course of study.


How do I look at available courses? 

Information about Banner and how to look up courses 


Graduate level ART courses have a 5000 or 6000 number. Online courses have a section number of 600 or greater. 


How much does it cost?

If the program is online do the studio courses need to be taken on site at ECU, or do distance education students fulfill the studio courses at another institution, or is the studio work also completed at home? 


You can transfer in up to 6 credit hours of graduate studio course. However, we offer some digital studio courses on line. Check with your art education advisor to see what is available.


How much is the North Carolina teacher’s salary increase if I get the Master’s degree? 


A teacher with a Master's degree and no years of teaching experience begins at $32,730 approximately $3,000 more than a beginning teacher with a Bachelor's degree. 


Can I transfer credit from another college or university? 

We accept up to 6 hours of transfer credit, which must be approved by the Art Education Area Coordinator and verified with official transcripts. 


Do you grant credit for students who have completed National Board Certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards? 


The following is the current College of Education Policy related to graduate credit for NBPTS licensure: “Education faculty at East Carolina University respect and congratulate students who have completed National Board Certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Students who enter graduate programs at the university are encouraged to submit individual elements of their portfolios to individual faculty members as they matriculate through their program.  Faculty members may consider the substitution of National Board portfolio components for assignments within individual courses. Work from the portfolio may be used only once and is only valid for use for six years from the data of receipt of NBC certification. The university does not allow reduced credit hour requirements for National Board certified teachers. Students must register and pay for courses in the graduate programs.” 


In essence, if a MAEd candidate’s NBPTS license was issued within the last 6 years s/he can use it for credit for the culminating project. S/he would register for a course and for that course the NBPTS licensure process would serve as a culminating project for the MAEd in Art Education.




Is there an orientation for new students?


Yes. There is a Blackboard site specifically for MAEd Art Education majors with all of the orientation material. As soon as you are accepted, contact Audrey Kilgore and ask to be enrolled in the MAEd Orientation Site. 


Can I enroll myself in courses? 


If you are an accepted degree-seeking student without holds or tags on your record, you may enroll yourself in courses in which there is an available seat. We recommend that you contact your art education advisor before registering. 


Who is my advisor? Is there a MAED advisor assigned to each student? 


The Graduate Director of the School of Art and Design is the primary advisor for all MFA and MAEd students and can answer general questions. 


The Coordinator of Art Education is the secondary advisor and can answer specific questions related to the academic program. Individual faculty members advise students who are doing projects or theses. 


Can any of the semesters be taken in the summer months? 


Yes, both the School of Art and Design and the College of Education offer some courses on line during both summer sessions to ensure that you graduate in a timely fashion. 


Can I skip semesters? Is there any regulation about the duration of the study? 


You can skip semesters. “Any student who interrupts his or her graduate program by not registering for courses on or off campus during any one semester of the regular academic year must apply for readmission before being allowed to resume graduate work.” (page 32 of 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog) The total time limit for completing requirements for this degree is six years, counting breaks in attendance. 





What is the difference between a Thesis and the Art Project? 


The North Carolina Master of Arts in Education Standards require students to prepare a culminating "product of learning" such as a thesis, project, or portfolio that a panel of university faculty and school professionals can evaluate to determine whether or not you have adequately demonstrated the professional advanced competencies of a master teacher. 


This product should reflect advanced teacher content knowledge and skill, and may include classroom impact, on-site visit and report that might include feedback from supervisors, colleagues, students, parents, and other individuals who might provide information about your performance and student performance data and its analysis, higher score on exit exam in content or other related information. 


General Aims of the Thesis or Culminating project 


* Should build on your current knowledge and competencies 

* Show your increased skills in data collection and data use for diagnosis, planning, decision-making, and


* Apply research to real-world experiences to improve classroom practice through action 

* Reflect on instructional and management practices and on your professional development as a master


* Show increased content knowledge in art 

* Develop peer leadership and mentoring skills. 


Factors to Consider when Making Your Decision: 


Thesis:The Thesis is a very rigorous research/writing activity. The writing has to conform to the ECU Graduate School guidelines and be posted to the Internet. Essentially the thesis is a book that you write and the university publishes. If you have a valuable research study, the thesis option gives you an opportunity to present the research in a public forum. The thesis represents a synthesis of all the skills you have and when you are finished you have completed a book that will be in the library and on the web for the “world” to read. The thesis is labor intensive and exacting. You form a committee to work with you and read the thesis before it is submitted to the Graduate School. It is important to stay in touch with your committee throughout the process (2 courses in ART 7000). You use the committee as a sounding board and they will help you work out your ideas and research and make suggestions for the style of writing. You would choose this option if you plan to pursue a doctoral program such as a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) or a Doctor of Education (EdD). You would attend a doctoral program at the University of Georgia, Penn State, or University of Illinois or other universities. The thesis would give you practice in scholarly writing. 


Culminating Project: The project does not have a set format. You can have an exhibition of artwork, put up a website, write a “draft” of a book you want to submit to a publisher, create an exhibition exploring topic related to instructional content, or pursue a large school project. For example, one student made a wall size ceramic mural for her school with her students. She had wanted to carry out a project like that, and her course work allowed her to pursue the activity. Recently two MAEd students mounted exhibitions of their work in conjunction with the work of their students. A School of Art and Design studio faculty and Art Education faculty members participated in advising and developing these projects. In relation to the project, you choose courses that are relevant to your topic and work on the project. You choose a single professor as a Project Advisor. This person should monitor the development of the project. Generally, you will keep a weekly log and document in photos (if appropriate) the important stages of the development of the project. You write a mid semester report reflecting on the progress of the project. Then you write a summary project report and show the product. The final product can be a portfolio or a website that is archived on a CD. Two Art Education faculty members assess the final project report. 


How do I sign up for Thesis? 


The Chair of your thesis committee will be designated as the teacher of record for ART 7000. He or she will arrange for a section of that class and notify you. 


How can I decide on my thesis topic? 


Your course work should help you select a topic for a thesis. 


How can I decide on my culminating project topic? 


Your course work should help you select a topic for a project. 


How will the art project be evaluated? 


Click here to download the Art Project evaluation rubric. 






What are the steps that I need to take to graduate? 


You should visit the Graduate School website and review the instructions on this page very carefully.


1. YOU MUST APPLY TO GRADUATE. Your application for graduation must be completed at least two semesters prior to completion of all degree requirements. Even though Distance Education is mainly provided on-line, applying for graduation cannot be done on-line. Follow the directions on the link above. 


2. YOU MUST NOTIFY THE SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN GRADUATE DIRECTOR OF YOUR INTENTION TO GRADUATE at least two semesters prior to completion of all degree requirements and indicate the semester in which you intend to graduate. He will review your transcripts and inform you of all remaining curricular requirements. He will then submit a graduate summary to the registrar. This document must indicate the correct semester of graduation so that you will be able to receive your graduate licensure as soon as possible. 


Do I need to fill out any forms to complete my Thesis or Art Project? 


Your Art Education Chair or Project Director will assist you with all aspects of each process as well as file all official paperwork related to the Thesis or Art Project. 


Do I have to attend the graduation ceremony? 


No, but we would very much enjoy meeting you in person. 


I would like to participate in the graduation ceremony. How do I get more information? 


There are two official University graduation ceremonies each year: one in the fall and one in the spring. You may choose to complete your course work and designate graduation during the summer semesters as well, but if you do, you the University will process you paperwork for the spring ceremony even though you have not completed your coursework. 


There is also a separate School of Art and Design ceremony the next day. This is a little less formal. Picture taking is encouraged and much of the faculty will be present. You do not have to attend both ceremonies. 


SEND THE GRADUATE DIRECTOR AN EMAIL THAT STATES YOU INTEND TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GRADUATION CEREMONY AT THE BEGINNING OF THAT SEMESTER. He will put you on an email list so that you will receive updates and necessary information. You can change your mind later, but please let us know as soon as you do. 


Where do I get my cap, gown and hood? 


If I come to campus, where do I park? 


How do I apply for graduate level teaching licensure? 


Upon successful completion of the MAEd in Art Education you are eligible to apply for the Graduate level teaching license. The web address below is where you can go to print out the forms for upgrading your license.After filling out the forms forward them with the check to: 


Ms. Sherry Tripp 

East Carolina University 

Office of Teacher Education 

College of Education 

Greenville, NC 27858.  


Ms. Tripp will put everything together and forward your packet to the NC Dept of Public Instruction Licensure Office. Her email address is if you have questions. 


Here is a link (Form A, V and U) for students completing the masters. They would use Form V and U—NOT Form A. 

When will I receive my diploma? 


The University will mail your diploma to your home. You should receive your diploma within 6-8 weeks after graduation.