Art, Education, and Community Practice (MA)

Department Website

Program Description

This interdisciplinary MA program in Art, Education, and Community Practice combines coursework in contemporary artistic practice, radical educational theory, and social activism. In this program students assume major roles in changing the social, cultural, political, and economic landscape through their artistic practice. It prepares artists, educators, designers, community organizers, and other publicly situated activists to work within community-based settings, museums, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), or broader public and civic contexts to initiate social change through the arts. 

Students take foundational courses in the three core program modules: Contemporary Artistic Practice, Educational Theory, and Social Activism. In addition, students can choose elective courses from across the university to customize their degree focus and experiences.

Grounded in the work of critical educational theorists, including Paulo Freire and bell hooks and several artistic activist thinkers, this program supports artists and other publicly situated activists to connect visual strategies and tactics with the needs of a community. Students learn from artists who do socially engaged work, activists who use creative organizing approaches, and educators who use collective methods to engage people in institutions and public spaces. Drawing on community organizing strategies and tactics, students examine how arts/design can open dialogue about a community's history, culture, and social needs as well as envisioning creative direct action events that involve putting ideas generated in classes into practice. This hands-on approach leads to the capstone project, which provides an opportunity to design and implement a community-based or public art project that allows for social transformation. 

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program work outside of and in collaboration with traditional avenues (museums, gallery arenas, classrooms, non-government organizations (NGOs). Graduates also serve as artists and organizers working as educators; curators; and artists in museums, community-based organizations, and NGOs or in broader public and civic contexts to initiate social change through the arts.

Accreditation (NASAD)

NYU is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190-5248
(703) 437-0700


Admission to graduate programs in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

See NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Admissions website for additional information on school-wide admission. Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.