A Mostly Online Art & Design Master's Degree

For Art Educators and Studio Artists

The Art and Design Master of Arts (MA) is a studio art degree for developing advanced expertise in artistic practice. It is designed as a perfect fit for current art educators who wish to build upon their credentials while developing as artists, teachers and leaders in art practice and education.

The program is delivered online (with required studio hours either on-campus or near you) in the fall and spring terms, plus one short, intensive summer session on campus in Greeley, Colorado.

The UNC School of Art and Design fosters and encourages both academic rigor and artistic excellence in this master's degree program. You'll learn from expert faculty and practical field application. Synthesize your own personal talents and interests in this in-depth and individualized program.

Art Studio Graduate Certificate

Teachers who already possess a master's degree and who want to pursue eligibility to teach concurrent/dual enrollment or community college Art courses can opt for the Studio Art Graduate Certificate (18 credit hours). See the Course of Study section below for details.

Enhance Your Artistic Practice

These programs can benefit anyone with a degree or extended coursework in art or art education who wants to further and broaden their artistic practice — particularly those for whom the time, format and costs related to an MFA program are not a fit.

Benefits for Art Educators

The master's and certificate programs provide many benefits for art teachers. You can:

  • Reconnect with your studio practices and develop new artmaking strategies.
  • Advance on teacher pay scales that reward a master's degree or significant graduate coursework.
  • Fulfill eligibility requirements for teaching concurrent/dual enrollment courses (in which students earn both high school and college credit in the same course) or community college courses.
  • Potentially qualify for various teaching endorsements for those who already have a teacher’s license.
  • Continue on to an MFA or PhD program.

Please note the following:

  • This program does not provide licensure, but rather graduate level studio practice experience. While it is ideal for an art teacher who currently has a license, it is not necessary for this program.
  • The MA program is not a terminal degree.

Additional Career Opportunities

  • Practicing artist.
  • Museum educator.
  • Work in arts agencies and non-profit organizations.
  • Work in art galleries or community art centers.
  • Various positions in design and emerging technologies.

Checkmark over books icon to highlight the program details tabs below

Online + 1 Summer Greeley Intensive

  • Master's degree: the Art & Design Master of Arts can be completed in less than two years (five academic terms).
  • Certificate program: the Studio Art Graduate Certificate can be completed in one year (three academic terms).

Both programs start each fall term and most students will take two courses per term.

Fall and Spring Terms

  • Courses during the fall and spring terms can be completed via distance learning.
  • You will complete online course activities, including occasional synchronous course sessions when students and instructor meet online at the same time. 
  • You will need access to appropriate studio equipment/facilities for your chosen fall and spring courses. 
    • If you do not reside near our campus, you will need access to these resources near you. This can often be equipment you already use at home or at work. The Program Coordinator can help you determine if you have the proper setup available.
    • If you do reside near our campus, you can come to on-campus studios to complete activities. There is a required safety training for each studio that will be delivered at the beginning of the appropriate term(s).

Summer Intensive

  • Summer coursework will be focused on art studio courses taken on-campus in Greeley, Colorado, (approximately two weeks in June) with some follow-up coursework online.
  • During summer courses, you will use artistic research and studio practice to develop new skills, themes, purposes and functions for your artmaking.


Art and Design Master of Arts: 30 credit hours. See the official master's degree program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

Art Studio Graduate Certificate: 18 credit hours. See the official certificate program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

To see a typical list of courses by term, visit an example Current Students page for this program.

You can choose your art studio focus in these flexible programs. Art studio elective options are repeatable up to nine credit hours, and topics include:

  • Ceramics.
  • Computer Graphics.
  • Drawing.
  • Integrated Media Arts.
  • Metalsmithing
  • Painting.
  • Photography.
  • Printmaking.
  • Sculpture.
  • Or a personalized combination of courses as available.

— Jump Back "Up" to the Program Information Tabs