How do I Earn an Art Education PhD?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2018
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The art education PhD combines rigorous study for several years with examinations and dissertation requirements, prior to graduation. Most programs also have strict requirements for entry, and students will need to put in time studying and working to be eligible for application. There can be variance in specific prerequisites for each school that offers this PhD, but many of them place similar demands on students.

While certain doctoral programs admit students who have just finished a bachelor’s degree, many art education PhD programs require that students have finished a master’s degree program first. A number of schools also want applicants to have two to three years of teaching experience at high school or community college levels. This demand makes sense because it gives students a context in which to study art education. Some schools may not have such rigorous requirements, but if students want significant choice in where they apply, they may be better off by preparing for the most stringent requirements. This may make them eligible to apply to more programs.


Universities offering an art education PhD evaluate other factors when they look at student applications. Grade point average (GPA) at the master’s or more rarely bachelor’s degree level is important, and though each school varies, minimum GPA generally has to be about 3.0 or greater. Students may also need to take standardized testing like the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or tests that prove language competency if their principal language is not that of the country in which they will earn their degree.

Applicants additionally need to furnish letters of recommendation and a well-written personal statement. They’ll usually need to pay about $40-60 US Dollars (USD) to apply to each school. A few students may qualify for fee waivers, but most don’t. Since application fees can get expensive, students should probably narrow down their choices to three to four universities where they stand a good chance of being accepted.

After a student is accepted to an art education PhD program, time length to complete the degree varies, but averages between four to seven years. Part time students will probably take the longest to finish but even part-time participants may have a maximum amount of time in which to finish the degree. Studies include core coursework and electives. Some students will work as teachers or teaching assistants as part of their program, since the art education PhD is preparing students to work as university professors.

Most schools have examinations that must be passed and after required coursework is finished, students begin work on a dissertation. Successful passing of exams and approval of the dissertation by appointed faculty leads to graduation. This process is lengthy and in particular, the dissertation can take considerable time to research and write.



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