Professional Learning

Introducing a Master’s Degree From The Art of Education University

Hello, I’m Jessica Balsley, Founder of The Art of Education University (AOEU).

During my second year of teaching art, I began to search for a master’s program. Unfortunately, I found it incredibly difficult to find an affordable online program that pertained to art education. I ended up patching together my own program that ultimately didn’t help me grow as I had hoped. I walked away with the feeling that I, and my fellow art teachers, deserved something better.

In 2011, my husband, Derek, and I founded The Art of Education to improve art teacher professional development. In the years since, countless art teachers have asked for a master’s degree program that is just as relevant to their teaching practice as the other resources, courses, and offerings for which we are known. I’m thrilled to announce it’s finally here!

The Art of Education University (AOEU) is proud to offer a 100% online master’s degree just for art teachers!


We’ve spent the past three years becoming institutionally accredited as a 100% independent degree-granting university, allowing us to offer this fully-accredited master’s degree program to art teachers nationwide!


As we designed this degree, our team thought deeply about what the practicing art teachers of today need. The result is a degree that is every art teacher’s dream.

Here are some unique aspects of AOEU’s master’s degree.

AOEU master's degree


The program is flexible in every sense of the word. You can take courses on your own time, on your own schedule, as life permits. Courses start every month, and there are no cohorts. You can graduate in as little as one year or as many as five. It’s up to you.


100% of every course is designed specifically for art teachers and all courses are taught by art educators from around the country. The content isn’t busywork—it’s practical to the real-world challenges art teachers face in the art room every day.


You want to earn your degree but you shouldn’t have to break the bank to do so. Many art education programs cost art teachers between $20,000-$35,000 to attend. That’s double the cost of a Master of Arts in Art Education at AOEU. View the total tuition and fees, along with individual course credit costs at Tuition and Fees.


The degree ends with an intense, but meaningful, capstone experience. First, teachers dive deep into their mission and philosophy of teaching. Then, they take a topic of interest and become an art teacher-researcher, presenting and defending their ideas to peers.

This degree will work with your life, and most importantly, you will leave a better, more prepared, and more motivated art educator, ready to take on the world! You can start the process of becoming one of the first AOEU students enrolled in the program, here.

This all sounds great, but what about the details?

Here is a quick rundown of some FAQs about the master’s degree.

master's degree


The program is half the cost of other popular programs. View the total tuition and fees, along with individual course credit costs at Tuition and Fees.

Admissions Requirements

The program has a unique and dynamic application process. Applicants are required to create an AOEU account, send official transcripts, and demonstrate English language proficiency. Applicants are also required to submit a current resume, writing sample, and micro-portfolio.

Time Commitment

The program is flexible in every sense of the word. You can take courses on your own time, on your own schedule, as life permits.

Course Schedule

Most courses run every month. You can pick the courses you want to take when you want to take them.

Research Required

In the Capstone Research course, you will prepare and write a timely research paper and present it to your instructor and peers in a live virtual classroom.

This is a big decision for me. How do I learn more?

You have access to a team of admissions counselors ready to answer questions about the degree and help you reach your professional goals. Set up a call or email an admissions counselor right now at

Contact Admissions


In Closing

For Derek, myself, and the entire AOEU team, the three-year rigorous process of becoming accredited and gaining university status has been challenging but incredibly rewarding. We’ve been waiting to share this news with you for a very long time and we are thrilled and humbled this day is finally here. I can’t say in my wildest dreams I thought I would start a grassroots university for art teachers, but we did it, and this community helped us in ways we can’t even express.

This degree means more art teachers will improve their practice and realize their own big dreams. It means more art teachers will hold a diploma in their hands representing one of the largest achievements they will ever gain as an educator—a graduate degree to stand the test of time.

It’s our hope, as your trusted professional development provider for the past eight years, that we are now your “University for Life” and the place you go for resources, PD, and also an advanced degree. It brings us closer than ever to fulfilling the institution’s mission and building the type of university art teachers deserve.

In the years ahead, we look forward to working with you and helping you reach your personal and professional goals!

Jessica R. Balsley
Founder and President
The Art of Education University

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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