Best Online Art and Art History Degrees

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Art is more than just appreciating it with your eye—understanding its societal and cultural framework is equally important.

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Art history is the study of art in its historical, cultural, and societal context. Students who choose this major will develop strong writing and analytical skills. As this course of study is often embedded in a liberal arts curriculum, students will have the opportunity to take a variety of courses other than just Art history departments. At the undergraduate level, Art history majors will be exposed to a variety of cultures, but may be able to choose a certain concentration. Some schools will even allow students to participate in research.

A bachelor’s program for this major will generally require around 120-credits, with a good portion of these credits composed of general education classes. Other than major courses, students will also be able to take several related electives. Online degrees operate under the same credit system as traditional on-campus programs.

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What type of bachelor’s in art history should you get?

An online degree may be ideal for already working professionals or students who are heavily devoted to other outside activities. Online degrees allow students to finish coursework and tests on their own pace, with minimal timed group sessions. Online programs are either 100 percent online, or offered in hybrid versions. A hybrid program is composed of both on-campus and online classes, with online courses composing most of the degree. Online degrees may also be cheaper than traditional on-campus programs.

Check out our master ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities here.

How much money do people make with an online bachelor’s in art history?

According to PayScale, the average salary for those who hold a Bachelors of Arts (BA) in Art History is $54,000. Those who hold an online degree will have no different salary (in fact, “online” is never mentioned on transcripts or the diploma). In May 2015, the median salary of an archivist was $50,250. Curators made $51,520. While the top 25 percent of earners made $64,750, the lowest 25 percent made only $37,820 or less.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for archivists, curators, and museum technicians are expected to grow with 2,100 new jobs between the years of 2014 and 2024. Location greatly affects these opportunities, as well as salary potential. The most popular cities to work in for this field is New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington.

What can you do with an online bachelor’s in art history?

Those who hold an undergraduate degree in art history typically work in art galleries or museums. Art institutions, colleges and universities, and the government are the top employers in this field. The most common positions for art history majors are archivists, curators, and museum officials. Archivists assess different artwork to see if they belong in a certain collection. Curators are responsible for cataloging different art pieces and working with the public. Museum officials are in charge of overseeing different museum sections.

About 56.3 percent of Art History graduate are employed within six months of graduation. More than a fifth of graduates choose to pursue graduate studies, with 42 percent of these people getting their master’s in art history. Although a Master’s is not required for all jobs, an advanced degree is preferred in many companies and can increase your salary potential. An online Bachelor’s in Art History is a perfect way to get the basic foundation you need to continue in your education.

What are the requirements for an online bachelor’s in art history?

Online applicants must submit all of the required documents by the deadlines. Typically online programs will have several start dates throughout the year. Students should be prepared to submit test scores, transcripts, and any letters of recommendations (if required). Although most programs do not have minimum GPA requirements, it is advised that applicants have a GPA of at least 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

What are the best online bachelor’s in art history?

College Choice has compiled a ranking of the best online bachelor’s in art history degree programs. We have ranked these schools based on overall school excellence and student success. Data was collected and analyzed based on a variety of points, such as overall school reputation, entering students’ test scores, affordability, etc. Our sources come from the U.S. News & World Report, individual school websites, the National Center for Education’s IPEDs database, and PayScale.


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Massachusetts Lowell

    Lowell, MA




    The University of Massachusetts Lowell is a competitive research university that offers degrees at all levels throughout its six campuses. As one of the top schools in the nation, UMass Lowell has spent an estimated $69 million worth of research and development projects. The university is also a highly generous school, offering financial aid to approximately 90 percent of its students and awarding more than $179 million of aid. UMass Lowell’s Art History degree program is offered through its School of Online and Continuing Education.

    Program Features

    UMass Lowell’s online Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree with a concentration in Art History will give students a comprehensive background of the development of art in societies around the world.

    • Ability to choose another concentration
    • Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters
    • Sample Courses: Art Appreciation, American Art, Comparative Arts


    UMass Lowell’s online Bachelor’s programs are ranked among the best in the nation according to the U.S. News & World Report.

  2. Arizona State University

    Phoenix, AZ




    As the most innovative school in the nation, Arizona State University is a major powerhouse for research and intellectual thought. Not only is ASU known for its excellent achievements, but also for its amazing faculty and classes. The university’s undergraduate Art History degree is offered through Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts. This school is the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the country, with more than 5,000 students.

    Program Features

    ASU’s online BA in Art History is a comprehensive degree that trains students to understand art using a variety of skills.

    • No portfolio required in application
    • School of Art scholarship available
    • Sample Courses: Art from Prehistory Through Middle Ages, Art of Asia, The Art of the Comic


    Popular jobs upon completion of this program include entry-level jobs at places such as art publications or museums.

  3. University of Arizona

    Tucson, AZ




    The University of Arizona is located in Tucson, Ariz. Since its founding in 1885, UA has accomplished a variety of things, such as working alongside NASA as a partner institution and serving underprivileged communities. As a premier public research university, UA is among the best universities in the nation according to the U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review. In order to continue to reach more students, UA offers online programs, with more than 100 degrees available.

    Program Features

    Students interested in pursuing art-related industries should enroll in UA’s online Bachelor of General Studies degree with a focus in Arts, Media, and Entertainment.

    • $500 per-unit
    • No complicated additional application materials needed
    • Sample Courses: Jazz History, Hip Hop Cinema, Literature and Film


    As students will be exposed to a variety of disciplines throughout this degree, graduates will be prepared to enter several fields.

  4. Lindenwood University

    Saint Charles, MO




    Lindenwood University was founded in 1827 in the heart of St. Charles, Mo. Over 10,000 students are currently enrolled in their 131 degree programs. Located just west of St. Louis, students have all the benefits of a big school in a big city. Its academic opportunities extend to non-traditional adult learners as well, with its many online degree programs where students can take classes on a flexible time schedule.

    Program Features

    An online Art History student at Lindenwood will be exposed to a variety of cultures and will learn to understand art through different contexts.

    • 39 degree credits required
    • 3-year Fast Track available
    • Sample Courses: Baroque Art, History of Non-Western Art, Two-Dimensional Design


    Excellent students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher may be able to get a head start in their graduate degree through the Early Access Graduate Program.

  5. Prescott College

    Prescott, AZ




    Prescott College is a private liberal arts school that was founded in the ‘60s. Prescott believes in providing all students with a diverse education in order to prepare them to thrive in their communities. The college is known for its sustainability, affordability, and of course its reputable distance learning programs. Prescott has been providing adults with online degrees for over 20 years.

    Program Features

    Through Prescott College’s distance learning program, students can get their Bachelor’s in the Arts & Humanities.

    • Three start dates
    • Hybrid program (Ability to take some on-campus classes)
    • Mentored internship courses


    This program is unique in that it is a limited residency and hybrid program, meaning students will have more opportunities to engage with the campus community.

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