art painting project

Art Education

Bachelor of Arts

Promote creativity and inspire artistry.

With a degree in Art Education from Mercyhurst, you can inspire students in K-12 to unleash their creative imaginations in the classroom, or you can practice art education in a public setting, such as a museum or community center. Art educators do more than instruct students on the techniques and theories of art, but equip students with the foundation to take their knowledge of color, form, and design into their own hands.

Your degree in Art Education will let you explore contemporary issues and practice in the visual arts and in art education. You’ll also gain more than 100 hours of observation before completing required student-teaching hours. This program is designed so that all majors are eligible to sit for the Pennsylvania Department of Education teaching certification upon graduation.

Art education students are supported by both our Department of Art, Design, and Communication, as well as Department of Education throughout their undergraduate career. You will be given a comprehensive curriculum in 2D, 3D, and graphic arts, as well as in evidence-based practices and hands-on classroom experience, leaving you well-prepared to enter the classroom upon graduation with a diverse skillset and foundation in today’s best education practices. 


    Consists of 21 credits as follows:

    • ACCT 101: Principles of Accounting (3 credits)
    • MGMT 120: Principles of Management (3 credits)
    • MKTG 162: Principles of Marketing (3 credits)
    • DANC 200: Intro. to Arts Administration (3 credits)
    • DANC 475: Arts Management Internship (3 credits)

    2 electives of the following, at least one 300-level course.

    • ART 128: Graphic Design Basics (3 credits)
    • COM 240: Digital Video Production (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Intro. to Social Media (3 credits)
    • ART 321: Intro. to Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 312: Communication & Social Responsibility (3 credits)
    • COM 314: Global Communications (3 credits)
    • COM 330: Web & Social Media Analytics & Strategies (3 credits) Requires COM 260 to be taken previously or concurrently.
    • Art 100 Drawing I (3 credits)
    • Art 122 or 123 Art History (3 credits)
    • Art 125 2-Dimensional Design (3 credits)
    • Art 126 3-Dimensional Design (3 credits)
    • Basic Level 2-D Studio (3 credits)
    • Basic Level 3-D Studio (3 credits)
    • Art Electives (2) (3 credits)
    • ART 122 - Ancient to Medieval Art History (3 credits)
    • ART 123 - Renaissance to 20th Century Art History (3 credits​)
    • ART 128 - Basic Computer Design (3 credits​)
    • ART 223 - History of Modern Art (3 credits​)
    • ART 224 - History of Photography (3 credits​)
    • ART 230 - Graphic Design History (3 credits​)
    • ID 220 - History of Interior Design (3 credits​)
    • ID 221 - History of Architecture (3 credits​)
    • ARTH 125 Art Therapy I (3 credits)
    • ARTH 225 Art Therapy II (3 credits)
    • ARTH 325 Art Therapy III (3 credits)
    • PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology (3 credits)
    • (3) Approved Electives (3 credits)

    Required Courses

    • COM 101: Communication in Society (3 credits)
    • COM 102: Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Introduction to Social Media (3 credits)

    Course Choices (9 credits)

    • Students must take three additional courses within the Communication Department, two of which must be 300-level or higher
    • ARTH 125: Intro to Expressive Therapies (3 credits)
    • PSYC 101: Intro to Psychology (3 credits)
    • One developmental psychology course (3 credits):
      • PSYC 241: Developmental Psychology: Childhood,
      • PSYC 242: Developmental Psychology: Adolescence, or
      • PSYC 142: Lifespan Development
    • Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
    • COM 210: Mindful Communication (3 credits), ARTH 275 (3 credits): Group Practices, or SOC 204: Diversity in Society (3 credits)
    • And a least two courses in creative fields or modalities with prefixes ART, ARTH, THEA, DANC, MUS (6 credits) (At least one should be a 200-level or higher)
    • ART 128 Basic Computer Design 3 credits
    • ART 220 Typographic Foundations 3 credits
    • ART 221 Digital Imagery 3 credits
    • Four (4) Approved Art and Graphic Design Elective
    • ART 106 Photography I
    • ART 128 Basic Computer Design
    • ART 206 Intermediate Photography
    • ART 223 History of Modern Art
    • ART 224 History of Photography
    • ART 305 Digital Photography
    • ART 306 Color Photography
    • ART 400 Individualized Studio I

    Students who are majors may pursue the Minor Electives Cluster in Website Design in the Art Department. In contrast, Graphic Design majors may pursue the Minor Electives Cluster in Communication.

    Required Courses

    • ART 128: Graphic Design Basics (3 credits)
    • ART 221: Digital Imagery (3 credits)
    • ART 321: Introduction to Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Intro to Social Media (3 credits)

    Minor Electives Clusters (Choose one: if courses in the minor cluster are required for your major, please take the opposite cluster.)

    • ART 225: Computer Illustration Technology (3 credits)
    • ART 325: Intermediate Website Design (3 credits)
    • ART 326: Advanced Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 202: Contemporary Media Literacy (3 credits)
    • COM 240: Digital Video Production I (3 credits)
    • COM 330: Digital analysis & Strategies (3 credits)
    • THEA 110: Acting I (3 credits)
    • THEA 245: Script Analysis: From Page to Stage (3 credits)
    • THEA 290: Topics in Theatre History (3 credits)
    • THEA 401: Practicum (3 credits)
Post-Baccalaureate Certificates

    The advanced certificate in Art Education (K-12) is intended for students who have already completed a bachelor's degree in an art-related field. This certification is also for college graduates seeking an art (K-12) teacher certification in the State of Pennsylvania. Each certification requires a course sequence of study and clinical practicum experiences. 

In The Classroom

The Mercyhurst University Department of Art, Design, and Communication teamed up with the Erie Zoo for an “ExZOOberant Paint Party” in our art studio. The Jungle Crayon Fence surrounds the children’s play area as a memorable and fun piece of personality in the nearby Erie Zoo. Students and faculty from the Department of Art, Design, and Communication led the initiative to host a painting party to give new life to this iconic fence in the zoo area. The entire Mercyhurst community was invited to join in the fun, with students, faculty, and staff helping paint more than 85 crayons with unique designs and names that all adhered to an animal theme. Mercyhurst’s Department of Art, Design, and Communication students love opportunities to be creative in the Erie community, especially the chance to work on unique displays like the Jungle Crayon Fence!