Art & Visual Culture Education

AVCE programs are intended to meet the needs of students who wish for professional understanding within the field of Art and Visual Culture Education. Students may pursue a BFA and an MA in AVCE, pursue a concentration in community and museums, or earn their teaching certification. In the graduate programs, students develop their own focus in conjunction with an AVCE faculty member. MA students may choose to submit a theoretical Thesis or practice-based Report to complete their degree requirements.

The PhD degree is a highly tailored degree meant to build expertise to enter contemporary arenas of art and visual culture education as a researcher, teacher, and leader. PhD students must defend and submit a Dissertation to complete their degree requirements.

The mission and strength of the program and its faculty is to promote an understanding of equity, social justice, multiculturalism, and globalization issues in AVCE theory and practice.

Art & Visual Culture Education
Future Art Educators

Community Connections

The School of Art and Art and Visual Culture Education are very much a part of the heart of the greater Tucson community. Through internships, volunteer opportunities, work-study programs, learning-centered collaborations, and placement of our graduates, we have built strong relationships with community organizations and institutions within and outside of the University of Arizona. Some of the organizations with whom our students have had the opportunity to learn and work with in recent years include:




We boast a vibrant and active student chapter of the National Art Education Association. University of Arizona students have a strong record of presenting at national and regional conferences, as well as serving on the organization’s boards and issues groups. Student members not only build a strong collegiality, but also benefit from professional development, networking, and funding opportunities.

The University of Arizona NAEA Student Chapter also organizes the Emerging Conversations Symposium. The symposium offers a space for undergraduate and graduate students, scholars in related fields, and community members to participate in research presentations, conversations about them, and dialogues regarding learning and activism in Art and Visual Culture Education.


AAEA is the state affiliate of the NAEA. AAEA holds an annual fall conference and invites your participation in the conference or in organizational meetings held throughout the year. The website provides information about the organization, news, conferences, advocacy, as well as art teaching resources.


If selected, the scholarship will pay your tuition for the duration of your enrollment in participating teacher certification programs at the University of Arizona. In return, you agree to teach in any public or charter school in Arizona for as many years as you received the scholarship. You may apply for the scholarship before you are accepted into a participating program, but you will not receive the award until you are accepted into that program. Details

Careers and Alumni

Graduates of Art and Visual Culture Education at the University of Arizona are well placed in the world of Art and Visual Culture Education. A few of the places our graduates are working include:

  • Many schools across Arizona, the Southwest and the nation
  • Public and private colleges and universities
  • National and local museums
  • Community art centers and organizations
  • Government and public services
  • Private sectors


We want to keep in touch! If you are an AVCE alumnus, please be part of our network; we’d love to know where you are and what you are doing.

Please join us on Facebook
Email us at:

All students, whether post-baccalaureate certification, masters or doctoral level, are invited to begin their professional lives while students at the University.


Art & Visual Culture Education faculty are award-winning educators and dedicated mentors.

Carissa DiCindio, Ph.D.

Carissa DiCindio, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Carissa DiCindio, Ph.D.

My Profile
Amelia (Amy) Kraehe, Ph.D.

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Associate Vice President, Equity in the Arts

Amelia (Amy) Kraehe, Ph.D.

My Profile
Ryan Shin, Ph.D.

Ryan Shin, Ph.D.

Shivani Bhalla

Shivani Bhalla

Visiting Assistant Professor

Shivani Bhalla

Kate Collins

Kate Collins

Visiting Associate Professor

Degree Programs

The Art & Visual Culture Education (AVCE) program offers undergraduate and advanced degrees: we offer a BFA degree with 2 track options (Community & Museums, and Teaching), as well as an MA degree in Art Education with 3 track options (Art & Visual Culture Education, Community & Museums, and Teaching), and a PhD degree in Art History and Education. These are integral parts of the comprehensive art programs offered by the School of Art.

Contact an academic advisor or set up an advising appointment to learn more about School of Art programs and admissions.


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art & Visual Culture Education, Community & Museums or Teaching Emphasis

Within the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art & Visual Culture Education program, students study the theoretical foundations of the discipline and interact with practitioners via hands-on experiences, field observations, student teaching, and community and museum internships. Our community of art and visual culture education students is professionally engaged, academically motivated, and joyful. Please join us!


Master of Arts in Art & Visual Culture Education, Art & Visual Culture Studies; Community & Museums; or Teaching Certification Emphasis

The Master of Arts in Art & Visual Culture Education is intended to meet the needs of students who wish advanced professional understanding within the field of Art Education. You may pursue an MA or, if interested in certification to teach in public schools and not currently certified, the MA plus certification. If you already hold an MA or MFA degree, you may want to be a part of our Doctoral Studies program.

Please speak with an Art & Visual Culture Education faculty member or the Graduate Program Coordinator for more information.


      • Art & Visual Culture Studies
      • Community & Museums
      • Teaching Certification

Students pursuing the community and museum emphasis of the AVCE program are given theoretical grounding in conjunction with practical experience. They learn about paradigms of practice such as community-based arts education, design pedagogy, civic engagement, and social practice. Students interact with practitioners in the field through field trips and guest lecturers and get hands-on experience through observations, internships, and projects.

Learning to design curriculum, facilitate arts programming, fundraising, and program management, our graduates can expect to get jobs as for-profit and non-profit arts and education organizations, as program coordinators/directors, outreach managers/coordinators, teaching artists; as community organizers and advocates in education, social work, or activist organizations, as gallery managers, or freelance as community-based art educators.

Students choosing to focus on policy might also find employment in local or national arts councils and arts and culture branches of government. Positions in museums, galleries, and artist-run centers may include museum education assistants/directors, museum educators and curators, school-museum partnership coordinators, community engagement specialists, arts administrators, visitor experience specialists, heritage interpreters, and gallery managers. Graduates also pursue jobs in local, national, or international museum education associations and governmental departments.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Art History and Education, Art & Visual Culture Education Track

The PhD in Art History and Education provides an interdisciplinary, theoretically informed, methodologically diverse two track PhD program: with one track in Art History and one in Art and Visual Culture Education.


This advanced degree prepares artist/teacher/researchers who contribute to the research, creative scholarship, knowledge, theory, and practice of art and visual culture education in university, school, museum, community, or other arts leadership positions. The program is focused on contemporary intersections of art, visual culture, and education in all settings.

This program enables students to investigate in-depth, significant issues pertaining to the theory and practice of Art and Visual Culture Education in North America as well as globally. Students in this program gain the tools to develop their research interests and explore methods of conducting research. Graduates from our program have gone on to pursue careers teaching in Higher Education, as well as to take leadership roles in arts organizations.

Minor in Art Education

The minor involves 18 units of Art & Visual Culture Education coursework


Wildcat Art

Wildcat Art is a non-profit program that serves the Tucson community while providing hands-on teaching experience for advanced undergraduate and graduate Art & Visual Culture Education students. The six-week-long Saturday art program, offered every spring, encourages K-12 students to explore ideas and issues through contemporary and traditional art media and practices.

This year’s theme is creating art focused on food and how it connects us. The program will be held every Saturday, March 23-April 27, 2024, from 9 a.m. to noon at the School of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road. The fee is $60 per child, but scholarships are available. Register for Wildcat Art!

Our curriculum has included experiences in movement and contemporary dance, narrative and storytelling, calligraphic printing, cyanotype photography, post-modern architecture, clay, stop-frame animation, and other art-making processes. A recent theme explored was Identity: Your Interconnected Worlds, which included personal geographies, diversity, our desert environment and sustainability, community, collaboration, and identity. Each year we visit on-campus museums as part of the program and invite local artists to talk to participating children and youth.

Our annual exhibition for students and their families will be held at the School of Art’s Lionel Rombach Gallery on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to noon. While serving the larger Tucson community, this program also serves as a lab school for students in the program, an exciting opportunity for teachers-in-training.

Go to or email Professor Ryan Shin for more information.

Wildcat Art website

Become an Art Educator

Ready to join our community of dedicated artists, educators and scholars?

Apply Now

What Do You See?

What Do You See?

Utvista Galiante
I fell down some stairs

I fell down some stairs

Lyle Emmerson Jr.
Floral Arrangement

Floral Arrangement

Janessa Southerland
Half Off Special

Half Off Special

Wilbur Dallas Fremont
Tailgate Party

Tailgate Party

Roger Masterson