If you think you want to study the Arts and Humanities, but you’re not sure exactly what you want to do, don’t worry. These fields tend to give you a lot of flexibility to explore different paths, especially early in your college education.
In the meantime, you can also take a look at our homepage on the Arts & Humanities.
Associate Degrees in the Arts & Humanities
Compared to other college degrees, associate degrees take the least time to finish – usually two years or less. And for some careers, like graphic design, an associate degree and a strong portfolio may be enough to get your foot in the door.
Many associate degrees in the Arts and Humanities are designed for students who plan to transfer their credits to a bachelor’s degree program. If that’s your plan, make sure that you get your associate degree from an accredited institution, and that the courses you take will count towards your bachelor’s degree.
You can remove the mystery from the transfer process by reaching out directly to the admissions department at your target school. It’s never too early to begin building a relationship!
Bachelor’s Degrees in the Arts & Humanities
For many careers in the Arts and Humanities, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum level of education you’ll need for an entry-level job. That’s because employers know that if you have a bachelor’s degree, you have a solid general education and valuable communication skills.
As an example, scan our ranking of the Best Online Graphic Design Degrees.
A bachelor’s degree program usually takes four years to complete. Some institutions have accelerated programs that will allow you to finish more quickly, though, so be sure to find out about all of your options when you begin the admissions process.
Master’s Degrees in the Arts & Humanities
If you want to study a particular subject in depth after completing your bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in the Arts and Humanities might be for you. Graduates of master’s degree programs can have more opportunities for career advancement, and typically earn more than their counterparts with bachelor’s degrees.
Master’s degrees generally take two to three years to complete. Most programs include traditional coursework and hands-on experience, concluding with a thesis project. Depending on your field, your thesis could be in the form of a research paper, a portfolio of your creative projects, or even an exhibition of your work.
Doctoral Degrees in the Arts & Humanities
As the highest level of education in the Arts and Humanities, a doctoral degree also takes the most time to complete. According to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, history majors take the longest time, averaging about seven years from start to finish!
Some doctoral programs only accept applicants who already have a master’s degree. Others only take graduates of bachelor’s degree programs, because earning a master’s degree is part of the program. Either way, a doctoral degree consists of coursework in your subject, followed by a dissertation.
A dissertation is different from a master’s thesis in a few ways. A thesis is basically a long research paper that can draw on a variety of sources. A dissertation is often book-length, and it’s intended to add something new to your field of study rather than analyzing other scholars’ work. When you’re done with your dissertation, you can truly say that you wrote the book on your subject.