Best Online Master’s in Art History Programs
Our experts at BestColleges ranked the top online master's in art history programs to help you find the best program for you. Read on to learn more about the top programs and careers associated with a master's in art history.
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An online master's in art history prepares graduates with the research, writing, and analytical skills needed for many careers within the art field. Art history graduates work as K-12 teachers, museum curators, and art historians. Many graduates also apply their archival skills in museums and libraries.
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The following guide looks at the best online master's in art history programs, common courses offered, and potential careers for graduates.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Art History Programs? Here Are Our Top 5:
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|#1||Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA|
|#2||University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE|
|#3||Lindenwood University St. Charles, MO|
|#4||Fort Hays State University Hays, KS|
|#5||Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA|
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Best Accredited Online Master's in Art History Programs
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What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Art History Program?
Art history students also gain research and writing skills that prepare them for myriad careers within the field.
Online master's in art history programs vary across schools, and curricular specifics depend largely upon academic concentration. Common concentrations include Renaissance art history, modern art history, and specific disciplines like photography and sculpture. Art history students also gain research and writing skills that prepare them for myriad careers within the field.
Master's level art history coursework can address almost any era and often covers topics such as Victorian art, modern art, and non-Western art. Foundational coursework also explores theoretical methods of art criticism and how art movements relate to other cultural and political movements. Additional courses focus on research methods, academic writing, and art history methodologies.
Most art history programs take 1-2 years to complete. Along with traditional coursework, online students take part in graduate seminars and work on projects with their cohort and instructors. As a capstone project, most programs require degree-seekers to complete an original piece of research of publishable quality.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Art History Programs
Admission requirements for an online master's in art history give applicants the chance to show off their strengths. The admissions process can also qualify applicants for various financial aid opportunities such as fellowships and assistantships.
Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, typically in an art-related field. Applicants must submit a completed application along with official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Most programs require an undergraduate GPA of around 3.0.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Art History Program?
While coursework for an online master's in art history can vary significantly from program to program, the academic structure remains relatively similar. Degree-seekers refine their research and writing skills, engage with graduate-level seminars, and complete a culminating thesis project. Read on to learn about some of the courses commonly offered in a master's in art history program.
Art Theory and Criticism
This survey of art theory and criticism explores the significant critical and theoretical ideas that influence the understanding of art and its role in society. Covered topics include major theories like structuralism and post-structuralism, feminism, and Marxism.
19th Century Art
This course covers European art movements from the late 18th century to the early 20th century, such as neoclassicism, romanticism, and impressionism. This course also contextualizes stylistic trends through an analysis of other developments in science, literature, and music. Students also explore the relationship between art and politics, religion, and culture.
20th Century Art
This course explores artistic developments in Europe and America from the late 19th century through World War II, a period defined by rapid modernization. Students explore innovation in artistic styles, techniques, and methods of dissemination. Learners also examine the rise of photography, installations, and conceptual art.
History of Photography
Through an examination of photography from its earliest forms to the present, this course focuses on the evolution of photography alongside other artistic and cultural movements. Students gain insight into photography's cultural influence as both an artistic medium and social tool.
Research and Scholastic Writing
This course takes a deep dive into the tools and methods used to compose academic research papers. Students learn about advanced research techniques, thesis development, and how to use primary and secondary sources.
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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Art History Degree?
Graduates with an online master's in art history degree can begin careers in fields like education, museum stewardship, and instructional coordination. Art history graduates interested in education can work in K-12 schools, museums, galleries, and art-focused nonprofits.
While an MFA in art history is the preferred degree for tenure-track academic positions, graduates with a master's in art history can secure adjunct teaching roles at colleges and universities.
See where an online master's in art history can take you. Learn more about art history careers.
Museum curators oversee collections of artwork, design exhibits, plan and conduct research projects, and organize archival materials. Museum curators often work with community groups, attend civic meetings, and promote their institution.
Teaching art history in postsecondary settings, these professionals develop course syllabi, plan lessons and assignments, and teach courses in their area of expertise. These faculty members often conduct and publish scholarly research while keeping up with academic trends in their field. Professors also work closely with students outside of class, advising learners about future academic work and career ambitions.
These professionals use their art history background to appraise, process, and catalog art in museums. Museum archivists preserve and maintain artwork, acquire new art, and organize and classify museum materials. Some archivists also maintain digital archives.
Instructional coordinators design curricula, develop educational materials, and facilitate workshops. These professionals may also train instructional staff and recommend instructional techniques. Individuals with an art history master's degree may put their educational background to use as an instructional coordinator focusing on art education at an arts nonprofit, museum, gallery, or school.
Art historians research, analyze, and write about specific elements of art history. These professionals compile historical information from a variety of sources, including academic research and archives. In addition to research-based work, art historians preserve art in museums and often take on managerial roles within art-focused institutions.
Art History Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Art History Programs
Is a master's in art history worth it?
Like any advanced degree, an online master's in art history allows graduates to advance their career opportunities and increase their earning potential. Graduates can find jobs in a variety of fields that leverage their specialized knowledge. Online programs can also offer students the flexibility needed to complete academic work while juggling personal and professional obligations.
Is art history a good major?
An online master's in art history is a good major if it fits your academic and career ambitions. For degree-seekers interested in careers in art-related fields, this degree helps cultivate the research, writing, and analytical skills needed for success.
What can I do with a master's in art history?
Thanks to applicable skills in research and writing, graduates with a master's in art history are prepared for many positions within the art world. Art history graduates work in community colleges, arts organizations, museums, and high schools.
How much money can I make with a master's in art history?
While a master's in art history does not traditionally lead to especially lucrative careers, graduates can develop specialized research and writing skills that can lead to numerous career possibilities. Archivists, curators, and museum workers earned a median annual salary of $49,850 in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in art history?
Salaries for professionals with a master's in art history will differ depending on the specific role and the individual's previous experience. According to the BLS, archivists, curators, and museum workers earned a median salary of $49,850 in 2019, while instructional coordinators earned a median salary of $66,290 during the same year. With experience, managerial and supervisory roles typically pay the most.
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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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