Do you have an artsy side? Looking for a fun, colorful career?
Not only do you admire great art, but you believe artwork should be interpreted through a historic lens. Sound like you? Can you envision yourself in a museum or gallery, promoting better education on the arts? Then a master’s in art and art history may be the perfect fit for you!
What kind of online master’s in art degree should you get?
A master's degree program in art will provide opportunities to specialize in specific kinds of artwork. Common specializations include creative writing and painting.
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In a master of fine arts program in creative writing, students learn how to tell stories effectively, market those stories to a wider audience, and edit for themselves and others. The program will also teach them how to navigate the business side of publishing stories, such as appropriate conventions for story submission and which resources are available in particular genres. Students also often develop a background in the history of literature.
In a painting MFA program, meanwhile, students learn how to develop and construct the visual language of paintings, as well as how to break those rules in a purposeful and effective manner. These programs also equip students to effectively analyze artwork. The later stages of a painting MFA will center on an individual student's artistic goals, encouraging them to develop their own style and vocabulary.
How much money can you make with an online master’s in art degree?
Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, have heavily variable compensation. Payscale.com's current data indicates an average yearly pay of just above $46,000, but with lows below $20,000 per year and highs nearing $100,000 per year.
Those who move into the business world, becoming art directors or creative directors with large organizations, see more pay as well as more stability. Typical pay for these roles hovers around $64,000, with creative directors sometimes making more than $150,000 per year. These positions require comfort with leadership duties.
What can you do with an online master’s in art degree?
Fine arts graduates have diverse career prospects. Common career trajectories include freelance work, in-house staff for businesses, and art education.
- Freelance Artist - Freelance artists work in business settings or work from home, generating the visual and written content companies need to put out finished products and marketing campaigns. They set their own hours, but must work hard to find and retain clients.
- Graphic Artist - Graphic artists work with large organizations in office settings. Some work with medical, scientific, or legal organizations, but may require a background in a relevant field like biology or law in addition to their artistic experience.
- Art Educator - Art educators sometimes work in schools and other child-facing organizations to help young artists develop. Other art educators encourage the use of art as coping strategy and stress management tool in at-risk populations.
What are the best online master’s in art degrees?
By using data from U.S. News & World Report and Payscale.com, these rankings provide a comprehensive look at the overall value of many degree programs in art. The rankings start by looking at factors like student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate, and curriculum. Adding these values to measures of each degree's cost and typical student salary after graduation provides a profile of the overall quality of each degree program. Programs that rank highly are those that provide a strong grounding in fine art concepts and practice, and equip students to find good jobs after graduation.
See our rankings methodology page.
#1 Best Online Master’s In Art Degrees
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
- Natchitoches, LA
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Northwestern State University of Louisiana prepares graduates for career advancement in its master's in art program. This Natchitoches-based public school serves degree candidates of all types, with online enrollment options to accommodate working professionals. During the master of arts in art program, learners take graduate-level courses in art to enhance their understanding of the field.
Master's candidates benefit from advising and support services, including career counseling. Financial aid advisors connect students with resources to pay for graduate school, while academic advisors recommend course selections. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of the writing center, career advising, and library services.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana at a Glance:
Total Master's Programs: 21
Total Online Master's Programs: 17
Admission Rate: 82%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Student-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1
Graduate Tuition In State: $5,738
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,526
Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $35,700
Percent Online Enrollment
Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges