Academy of Art University is now offering an Art Teaching Credential program accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Our credential program was developed from the ground up to comply with rigorous California standards in performance-based teacher education and the latest developments in education theory and practice. Our Art Teaching Credential program is designed specifically for the art graduate who seeks the fulfillment of guiding others in the exploration of their own creativity and personal artistic development. After completing all coursework and student teaching requirements and passing all four California Teacher Performance Assessments tests (CALTPAs); students are recommended for a K-12 Art California teaching credential.

Since the inception of our Credential Program in 2014, 100% (4 out of 4 graduates) have passed all CALTPA tests and were awarded the California Teaching Credential  -  Jan. 2017

During this course of study, Teacher Candidates will take 33 semester units of coursework which may be completed online or onsite at the Academy's urban campus in San Francisco with the exception of one semester of student teaching and fieldwork assignments in observing and teaching art to pupils in local Bay Area public schools that must be completed at the Academy's urban campus in San Francisco.

Students applying for the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Art Education from Academy of Art University have the option to complete the BFA and California Credential Program in 5 years with 141 total units for the two programs.

Art Teaching Credential Overview

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  • Foundations in Art Education
  • Foundations in Psychology
  • Instruction & Assessment of Academic Literacy
  • Integrating Technology in the Art Classroom
  • Teaching Methods & Curriculum Development
  • Theories & Methods for English Language Learners
  • Theories & Methods for Exceptional and Special Learners
  • Student Teaching Seminar
  • Assessment Preparation

Teaching Credential in Art Requirements

Art Teaching Credential Track I Requirements*
(available only to AAU-BFA Art Education students)
Major 18 units
Total 18 units
*Please check Entry Requirements for Details
Art Teaching Credential Track II Requirements (after completion of a Bachelor Degree)
Major 30 units
Total  30 units


  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum grade of C in all required units

Career Opportunities

A valid California Art Teaching Credential is essential to pursue art teacher jobs in California’s public schools. A credential also opens the door to job prospects in teaching art at private schools, community colleges and other career opportunities.

  • California* Public School Art Teacher
  • California* Private School Art Teacher
  • Community College, College or University Art Education instructor**
  • Community Center After-School-Arts Instructor

* Candidates wishing to teach outside of California should check with their state for Teaching Credential Reciprocity

** After earning a Master's degree


Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Teaching Skills

  • Make subject matter comprehensible to students
  • Gauge student learning using a variety of assessment strategies
  • Engage and support all students in learning
  • Plan instruction and design learning experiences for all students
  • Create and maintain an effective environment for student learning
  • Develop as a professional educator

Professional Readiness

  • Create a professional portfolio suitable for seeking employment as a credentialed art educator in the state of California

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Entry Requirements

Submit the following:

  • Application: Complete the online application (A non‐refundable and non‐deferrable $50 application fee is required)
  • Proof of Earned Bachelor's Degree or Higher: Official Transcripts must show the granting of a Bachelor's degree or higher with a minimum GPA of 2.5. International transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation.
  • Statement of Intent: Contact Admissions for details
  • CBEST Test Results: Official results of passing the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)
  • CSET Test Results: Official results of passing the California Subject Matter Examination Test (CSET) in Art
    NOTE: Candidates must successfully pass both parts of the CSET in ART: Subtest 1 and Subtest 2.
    Subtest 2 requires submission of a portfolio of your artwork that represents your technical and creative competence:
    • Concentration, submit three artworks that represent your highest-quality work in a single medium that is your area of concentration
    • Breadth, submit three artworks that illustrate your artistic breadth
    For more information please see below link:
  • TB Health Certificate Clearance: Official results of the TB Health Certificate clearance
  • Certificate of Clearance from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing - CTC:  Please follow directions on below link
  • Constitution Requirement: This requirement can be met either by passing a college or university examination or by successfully completing coursework. The course should be one in American Government or in U.S. History, which covers the period prior to 1865. The student must have received a passing grade (a D- or better). (All Art Academy BFA students meet this requirement with their LA 270 US History class.)

    If you did not take a course UG you can either take an accredited online Constitution exam, or a 1 unit online course. Below are some resources:

  • Resume: An outline of educational and professional experience
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three verifiable letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources
  • CPR and First Aid Workshop Certificate: Official documentation proving successful completion of an approved CPR and First Aid workshop/class

    NOTE: The CPR/First Aid Workshop or class must be approved by the California Emergency Medical and Safety Authority (EMSA)
    NOTE: Completion of the CPR/First Aid Workshop must be completed prior to second semester courses that require fieldwork

In addition, applicants to the Art Credential Track I must also demonstrate:

  • Successful completion of the following courses with a grade of B- or higher:
ARE 205 Educational Psychology
ARE 225 History of Art Education
ARE 310 Curriculum Development for the Art Classroom
ARE 460 Senior Seminar in Art Education
ARE 515 Integrating Technology into Art Education Settings

Art Teaching Credential Facilities

Academy of Art University maintains classrooms, galleries, lecture halls, theaters and studios located throughout the dynamic and diverse city of San Francisco, including heritage and historical structures that contribute to the energetic, creative fabric of the urban community. In addition to classes for the Art Teaching Credential program that will be conducted in these state-of-the-art facilities, some courses are offered online through the Academy's innovative digital instruction platform.

Per the standards set for all California Teaching Credentials, fieldwork, observations and teaching in public school classrooms must be completed in Bay Area public schools in which Academy of Art University maintains a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Academy of Art University offers Teacher Candidates a unique urban campus experience and the opportunity to interact with a community of artists and designers in the city of San Francisco. Teacher Candidates will bring their pedagogical skills to life in this one-of-a-kind location.

Discover a wealth of art and design information in our fully stocked library including a dedicated Art Education section. Enjoy our DVD theater, stock photography and illustrations, research databases, and virtual reference material on a variety of subjects. Browse the library

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