The study of art dates way back to ancient times and is more than just some color on canvas. In fact, studying art history can teach you a lot about ancient civilizations and how our society has grown and evolved over time. Bet you didn’t know you could learn so much from a brush stroke! Every artist across every medium has a unique story to tell– now, you can learn more and share this knowledge with an art history degree.
What kind of Art and Art History degree should you get?
Now that you’ve made the decision to study art and art history, it can be quite overwhelming to figure out what kind of degree to pursue! With so many options, we’re here to help you narrow it down. Of course, you’ll want to choose between an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree depending on your education level and work experience.
Next, you’ll want to decide if you’re more interested in a flexible degree or a more hands-on environment. Many schools now offer online degree programs for distance learners. However, an online degree isn’t right for all students. If an online degree sounds appealing to you, check out our ranking of the Best Online Art and Art History Degrees.
How much money do people make with an Art and Art History degree?
With a degree in art and art history, your paycheck will be reliant on your level of education, work experience, and your chosen career path. Studying art and art history does not lead to any one set career – in fact, you’ll have loads of cool jobs to choose from!
Museum employees, curators, and archivists make upwards of $47,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, you can earn more depending on the city in which you live and what type of museum or gallery you work in. Plenty of people also go on to become teachers or artists themselves! The good news is that jobs within the art industry are projected to grow 13 percent from now until 2026.
What can you do with a degree in Art and Art History?
There are so many unique career opportunities for those with a degree in art and art history! From working in beautiful galleries and museums to teaching art in public or private schools, the options are seemingly endless. Popular careers include:
- Art Consultant
- Exhibit Curator
- Museum Marketing
- Museum Fundraiser
There is no single carved path for those who pursue an art and art history degree. Your future is a blank canvas and you have the pencils, paints, and brushes to color any career you could possibly imagine!
What are the requirements for a degree in Art and Art History?
The requirements for the degree programs on this list vary based on the type of degree you’re pursuing. Many master’s programs will require applicants to submit a portfolio, while undergraduate degrees are less stringent. Many of the below programs require students to complete at least 120-hours and to choose a specific area of concentration. Since this is an arts degree, most will also include a foreign language requirement. Luckily, many art and art history degrees can be tailored to your specific career goals.
What are the best Art and Art History degrees?
We’ve compiled a list of the 5 Best Art and Art History degrees just for you! The best degrees are those that offer fair pricing, flexibility, and convenience. To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line – how much is this going to cost?
Based on these combined factors, we’ve curated the below list just for you. These not only represent the best art and art history degrees you can get, but also one that will fit your budget. Check out our picks below!
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $18,348
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is a public research university that’s home to over 17,000 students. The university offers over 120 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees, and 36 unique doctoral programs. Students interested in art history can pursue a flexible Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree through UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts.
Students may complete this 120-hour program either online or in-person. One of the more unique aspects of this program is that all students will choose two areas of concentration. These areas include: Art History, Economics, English, Gender Studies, History, and more. The art history concentration may include the following courses:
- American Art
- Art Appreciation
- Studies In World Art
- Contemporary Art and Culture
- History of Art I: Prehistoric to Medieval Art
All students in this program must also complete a foreign language requirement. Distance students have access to 24/7 tech support and are taught by the same professors who teach on-campus classes.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell does accept transfer credits, offering students an additional way to save both time and tuition. The university also offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid packages. U.S. News and World Report has included UMass Lowell in their rankings for Top Public Schools and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 98.48
Average Net Price: $13,007
Arizona State is a highly-ranked university that offers more than 150 degrees, many of which can be completed online. Now, the university’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is home to an accelerated Bachelor of Arts degree program in Art History. This program is ideal for those looking to work in galleries, museums, or in other art-related careers.
Students in this 120-hour program may have to take the following courses:
- Revolution to Realism in 19th-Century Art
- Monasteries, Madonnas and Manuscripts
- Art History Ancient/Medieval Focus
- Greek Myth in Western Art
- Art of Italian Renaissance
ASU offers many degree-related scholarships for eligible students. The ACF/Max and Clara Springer Scholarship, and Modern Abstract Decor Student of the Arts Scholarship are not need-based and encourage students to pursue the arts. Even without scholarships, ASU is the most affordable school on this ranking.
This Art History degree can be completed either online or on ASU’s Tempe campus. Graduates of this program often go on to pursue careers as archivists, curators, teachers, and more. Arizona State University – Tempe has been ranked among the nation’s Most Innovative Schools, Top Public Schools, and Best Value Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
College Choice Score: 93.97
Average Net Price: $22,183
Located in Saint Charles, Missouri, Lindenwood is a private university that was founded in 1827. Now, Lindenwood boasts an annual enrollment of over 8,000 students who pursue programs at the university’s nine colleges and schools. Check out the university’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History.
Offered through the Lindenwood School of Arts, Media, and Communications, this program can be completed in a variety of ways. In fact, you can pursue the Bachelor of Arts in Art History with an emphasis in Pre-Art Conservation. Additionally, you may choose a three-year fast track in Art History and Visual Culture. Required courses may include:
- History of Photography
- Nineteenth-Century Art
- Art Theory and Criticism
- History of Games and Critical Theory
- Twentieth-Century Art/Contemporary
Additionally, all students must complete an Art History Practicum as well as a capstone project. Students in this program may choose to complete courses online or on-campus in a more traditional format.
Accelerated degree programs at Lindenwood offer a great opportunity for students to save money and earn a degree in as little as 18 months. Whether you’re looking for an advanced degree or a bachelor’s, Lindenwood has excellent options. Plus, U.S. News and World Report has included this university on their ranking of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
College Choice Score: 86.55
Average Net Price: $25,280
Located in Prescott, Arizona, this small private liberal arts college offers a variety of unique degree programs. In fact, students at Prescott College may now pursue a comprehensive Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts and Humanities. The college’s Arts and Letters Department is home to a variety of courses that will prepare you for a rich career in the arts.
Required courses in this program may include:
- Opening the Creative Person
- Just Art: Art & Social Change
- The Derivative Image: Abstract Painting
- Form and Function: Sculpture in Theory and Practice
- The Art of Drawing: Contemporary Approaches to a Traditional Practice
From painting and sculpting to drawing, digital imaging, and more, classes are offered across a variety of artistic mediums. Additionally, all students must complete a core curriculum in order to receive their degree. Graduates must complete a capstone course as well.
Prescott College is a hub for artistic creativity. The college is home to a state-of-the-art Media Center, as well as the Raven Review and Alligator Juniper Literary Magazine. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Prescott among the nation’s Best Regional Universities in the West.
SUNY Empire State College
College Choice Score: 85.35
Average Net Price: $13,733
Located in Saratoga Springs, New York, SUNY Empire State College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as online degree programs for distance students. Incredibly affordable, students may now choose to pursue a degree in the arts through SUNY Empire State College. In fact, the college now offers both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Art History.
Whether you’d like to work in a gallery, museum, or become a graphic designer who works in media or film, SUNY Empire will prepare you for your dream job! Popular concentrations within the arts at this college include:
- Visual Arts: Sculpture, painting, crafts, photography, etc.
- Performing Arts: Dance, theater, and music.
- Media Arts: Film and video.
Students may choose to either concentrate on just one area or mix and match based on their specific career goals. Prospective students should note that not all areas are offered online, so keep that in mind if flexibility is key for you.
SUNY Empire State College offers grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study opportunities to eligible students. Additionally, members of the military may be eligible for discounted tuition rates. Students may also receive college credit for prior work experience which can cut tuition costs by reducing the time it takes to complete your degree.