An online art history degree could be a strategic choice for students who are passionate about art and want to make a career out of it.
Humans all over the world have been creating art for many millennia. An art history bachelor’s degree program will give you countless opportunities to study, evaluate, and appreciate their works.
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An art history program can help you develop employable skills to launch a career working with priceless artifacts or contemporary artists.
Online Bachelors in Art History Degrees
If you choose an online degree in art history, your college experience will likely be filled with great works of art. Throughout your studies, you’ll likely explore pieces from many time periods. This could include early history through the present day.
Pursuing an art history major can also help you develop your research skills. People who work in this field often conduct research about works of art and the people who created them.
Art history college programs aim to provide students with practical skills for the workforce. What that entails for you will depend on your career goals. You might take classes on creating art, writing grant proposals, managing nonprofit organizations, or using digital design tools.
While most art history majors receive a broad overview of many periods, cultures, and styles, they typically get to select a specific area of focus as well. You might choose to focus your studies on a topic like:
- Ancient art
- Modern art
- Non-western art
- Renaissance art
In addition to coursework, your college program might include an internship. For an online program, you may be able to arrange an internship experience through an organization that’s local to you. While not required at all schools, an internship can provide valuable preparation for your future employment.
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Before graduating, you might be required to complete a major project that demonstrates all you’ve learned. This might involve completing research and then writing a paper or giving an oral presentation. Once you fulfill the requirements for your degree, what comes next?
There are quite a few job options you could consider. Some graduates work in schools or museums. Others go on to make their own art, direct teams of creators, or become agents for artists.
A bachelor’s degree in art history may also be just the first step of your college education. You could choose to follow it up with a master’s degree or a PhD in the field. Then you might qualify to work as an art historian, a professor, or another advanced professional.
Art History Careers and Salaries
You love art, but can you make a career out of it? Being an art history major could actually lead to a variety of interesting jobs.
Perhaps you’re interested in this major because you love viewing, collecting, or studying works of art, especially old ones. If so, you might be interested in a museum career. Museum and exhibit technicians tend to hold a bachelor’s in art history or a related field. Studying art history can also help refine your eye for good composition and design.
This degree could prepare you to take part in the process of creating new works. For example, some professionals work as graphic designers or art directors. Some might even use their skills in film production or advertising design.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in art and design pay a median annual salary of $48,220.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes||$78,410|
|Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary||$75,940|
|High School Teachers||$61,820|
|News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists||$48,370|
|Museum Technicians and Conservators||$47,630|
Another way that art history majors can be involved in the art world is as agents. They might offer management services to one artist or several of them.
Some art historians desire to teach others. Schools at every level need art teachers. Most K-12 schools require a teaching license in addition to a college degree. An art history degree might even spark a journalism career. Journalists with an art history background might write about art news as well as related topics.
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The educational qualifications for these jobs can vary from one employer to another. Getting a graduate degree could also open additional career doors for you. For one thing, most museum archivists, curators, and conservators need at least a master’s degree. With higher education, some professionals become art historians or even professors who teach art at the college level.
Art History Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses
If you love to look at magnificent art, then you may enjoy the classes required for an online degree in art history. You can expect to study art from many different time periods and gain valuable skills for the professional art world.
- Architecture History: This class explores the history of building design from prehistoric times through the present day.
- Cinema History: This course surveys the development of film as art and explores the works of key contributors.
- Contemporary Art: This class can give you the opportunity to get to know the artistic styles of the last 100 years or so.
- Design Principles: This foundational class covers the principles of creating aesthetically pleasing designs.
- Funding and Grants: To prepare you for some of the business aspects of the art world, you may take a course on nonprofit finance and fundraising.
- History of Western Art: In one or more classes, you’ll likely become acquainted with the great art movements of antiquity, the Renaissance, and the modern world.
- Materials and Techniques: This course explores the forms, tools, and styles that artists use in their works.
- Non-Western Art: This class may cover works from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific.
- Photography History: This course discusses the development of photography over the last two centuries and how it has influenced other art forms.
- Research in the Arts: This course can help you learn fundamental research skills. You may need to produce a major paper or presentation to finish this class.
Art history programs often include a wide range of classes. While there are typically core courses that everyone must take, art history students often get to build much of their curriculum around their specific interests.
To get into college for an art history program, you’ll first submit certain required materials. These requirements often include:
- An essay or a statement about your goals
- High school or college transcripts—possibly with a certain GPA
- Reference letters from teachers or work supervisors
- SAT or ACT scores (not requested by all schools)
The first step, though, is usually to fill out an online application form and submit an application fee. Many colleges use the Common Application.
Online Art History Degree Programs Accreditation
If you decide to earn a bachelor in art history degree online, it’s beneficial to check whether your chosen school has regional accreditation. Both on-campus and online schools are eligible for this designation.
Regional accreditation signifies that a college meets set standards, and it’s valued among education institutions and employers.
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If you need to switch schools partway through your program, your credits are more likely to transfer if you attended a regionally accredited college. An accredited education can also help you qualify for grad school. Even employers might check whether you’ve earned an accredited degree before hiring you.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
While taking online art history courses will cost money, there are ways to reduce your upfront tuition costs. Government aid is a top source of funding for many students. Loans and grants are common forms of state and federal assistance. Loans need to be repaid after graduation, while grants are free money for college.
To learn about your eligibility for government assistance, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The financial aid package that a college offers you may also include scholarship funds directly from the school. Institutional funding can make college much more affordable for some students.
You can also explore outside scholarship opportunities. You might apply for scholarships from art organizations, community associations, and other civic-minded groups. Some employers will also help pay for further education. You’ll be more likely to get this aid if your job pertains to art or history.
Why Major in Art History?
If you love art but aren’t sure how to make a career out of it, an art history degree might be just what you need. Pursuing this degree can give you the opportunity to learn about art from many times and places and help you develop marketable professional skills.
Art history often appeals to students who are looking for flexible programs. There’s usually a lot of room for customization so that you can focus on the periods, styles, or cultures that really appeal to you. An art history major can help you develop an eye for evaluating art, which is a beneficial skill for success in this field.
Some schools also want students that can create their own artistic pieces. These programs can give you the opportunity to hone your artistic skills in order to create your own works of art.
What Can You Do with an Art History Degree?
An art history online degree could help you launch an art-related career in a variety of fields.
Do you want to work with art collections? If so, maybe you’d enjoy working in a museum. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, museum workers, archivists, and curators earn a median annual salary of $50,120.
Journalism is another route to consider. Your schooling could help you develop the skills and experience needed to write about gallery exhibitions, art acquisitions, and more.
Some graduates go on to teach. Your artistic passion could help students develop a love for making and appreciating art. Keep in mind, though, that some school positions require teaching licensure.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Art History Degree?
If you go to an on-campus college, it will likely take you about 4 years of full-time enrollment to earn a degree. Online programs can be similar or speedier.
To help full-time students get through school quickly, online programs often hold year-round courses. Students typically focus on one or two classes at a time, and each one lasts only about 6 to 8 weeks. As soon as one set of courses ends, it’s time to begin a new one.
Many students finish these types of programs in less than 4 years.
Is a Bachelor Degree in Art History Worth It?
Yes, a bachelor degree in art history is worth it for many professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, several related jobs will experience notable growth over the next decade. For instance, museum positions are projected to increase by 19%, and art directors are projected to see an 11% job growth.
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Art history studies can also help you turn your love for art into a profitable career. Having this degree shows that you’ve received a formal art education, and it can help demonstrate that you’re ready to contribute to creators and organizations that are sharing art with the world.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Art History Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
The Academy of Art University offers an art history degree that can be earned online. Students can earn the degree at their own pace. Each course is 7.5 or 15 weeks long. The online platform provides a collaborative space for students to freely exchange ideas and constructive feedback.
Academy of Art University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Arizona State University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Art – Art History. The program includes 39 classes that are each 7.5 weeks long. These classes include Art from Prehistory through the Middle Ages, Art from Renaissance to Modernism, Art of Asia, History of Photography, and more.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Boston University offers a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Art History. Students can earn their degrees part-time and choose from flexible scheduling options.
The comprehensive curriculum is designed to provide a strong foundation in the natural sciences and humanities. Students in the program study literature, history, modern foreign languages, philosophy, and more.
Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Carlow University offers a Bachelor’s in Art History. Courses are available on campus and online. Students in the program have the opportunity to complete a professional internship at the Carlow University Art Gallery. The program’s accelerated option allows students to start taking graduate courses as an undergraduate.
Carlow University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Fort Hays State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Courses include Ancient Art History, Renaissance and Baroque Art History, Non-Western Art History, and Visual Culture.
The program also includes studio art courses in drawing, sculpture, architectural design, creative photography, ceramics, printmaking, and more.
Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Lindenwood University offers an online program for a BA in Art History and Visual Culture.
The program provides flexible scheduling options and study abroad opportunities. Courses include Design I, History of Western Art to 1300, Baroque Art, Nineteenth Century Art, History of Photography, History of Games and Critical Theory, and more.
Lindenwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Mansfield University’s online art history degree program is designed to help students develop skills in visual analysis and critical thinking. The program can help students prepare for graduate study or careers in museums, galleries, and similar settings.
Mansfield encourages art history students to participate in internships and explore career options.
Mansfield University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Massachusetts—Lowell offers a BA in Liberal Arts that is intended to develop students’ communication and creative problem-solving skills. The degree can be earned online or on campus and can potentially be finished in 1 to 3 years.
Eleven concentrations are available within the program, including Art History.
The University of Massachusetts—Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Montana offers an online program for a B.A. in Art History. It includes coursework in art history and studio art courses in drawing, digital imaging, film editing, creative coding, graphic design, and more. The program culminates with a senior studio project.
Students in the program must have a GPA of at least 3.0 to graduate.
The University of Montana is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The University of West Georgia offers a Bachelor of Art with a major in Art, Art History. Courses include Design, Drawing I and II, History of Western Art I and II, Non-Western Art, Art of the Ancient World, Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art, and more. Students are also expected to complete a senior capstone experience.
The University of West Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your Art History Bachelor’s Degree Online
The world of art is full of beauty, and you can spend your college years exploring it. A degree in art history can help introduce you to magnificent works from throughout history and around the world.
You can learn how to better appreciate and research art, and you may graduate ready to provide leadership in this field. You can also earn a quality art history education by taking online classes through an accredited online program. If you’re busy with work or family, you might consider this flexible approach to learning.
Why not start exploring where an accredited online art history program could take you?