Everything You Need to Know About an Online Degree in Art History

Whether studying in person or online, art history requires reading and memorization. Make flashcards to practice identifying artwork for exams and share them with classmates for additional study help. A bachelor’s degree in art history can lead to rewarding career opportunities as museum educators, curators, archivists, and other positions related to preserving and interpreting the past. Some jobs may also require further education, licensing, and professional training.

What is an Art History Degree?

An art history degree teaches students to understand the evolution of art and how it relates to culture, including social, political, and religious aspects. The curriculum also covers the various forms of visual art, from sculpture to paintings and architecture, and the different approaches artists have used. Students also learn to conduct scholarly, forensic, and digital research using primary sources. The skills an art history student develops can apply to many fields, from journalism and law to education and business. For example, an art history degree can help someone become a curator or art gallery manager, overseeing art collections and curating exhibitions. It can also prepare someone to work as a museum educator, where they teach art history courses to undergraduate students. It takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree in art history. However, some online programs offer accelerated study formats, and students can graduate in less than that. It’s also possible to earn a master’s degree in art history, which can prepare you for a career in museums and galleries or further study in a specific topic. Those who choose to further their education can pursue a doctorate, often required for academic jobs. An art history degree can also help you gain experience by working as an intern at a museum or gaining volunteer work with an arts organization.

Requirements for an Art History Degree

An online degree in art history generally requires students to have a reliable high-speed Internet connection. They also need to meet the minimum standards for their program, which can vary from school to school. These may include a certain GPA, the completion of specific high-school courses or classes, and SAT or ACT scores. In addition to meeting the academic and technical requirements for a degree in art history, students will learn how to research and write papers. They will also gain critical analysis and reasoning skills that can be applied to various professional fields. Some art history graduates find careers in museums and other art-related organizations, while others use their skills in sales, education, and event planning. A bachelor’s degree in art history typically requires 40 credits, including several lower-level and a few upper-level courses. Students will take introductory courses such as ARTH 1100 and ARTH 2100 and advanced seminars focusing on particular subjects, eras, or regions of interest. Electives are usually taken in the junior or senior year and can include any courses with an ART H prefix. Graduates of online bachelor’s degree programs in art history often choose to continue their education and pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. Students attending graduate school should discuss their plans with an art history adviser. They must complete additional course requirements to be accepted into a master’s program.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Art History Degree?

The time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree in art history varies by school and program. Generally, students will study seminal works, critical periods in art history, and creative and visual communication methods from various cultures. They will also develop an understanding of history through contemporary art theory and engage in long-term research projects. A bachelor’s degree in art history is a foundation for many careers. Graduates may continue their education and pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. They will learn to analyze and write about art and culture from different perspectives as they study and participate in advanced seminars. In some roles, a professional with an online art history degree will be expected to travel and connect with experts in the field. They will also be expected to participate in undergraduate and graduate research conferences and present their work. Developing these skills can help professionals gain career advancement opportunities and increase their marketability in the job field. A bachelor’s degree in art history can lead to several career options, including museum curator, postsecondary teacher, art critic, or analyst. A graduate can pursue other jobs, including working in art conservation or becoming an archivist. Depending on the career, an art history holder might also need additional degrees, licensing, or training.

Career Opportunities

Art history professionals can pursue a variety of career paths. Many choose careers in museums, where they may work as curators or administrators. Art historians are also valuable members of staff at galleries, where they can help visitors understand and enjoy artworks. Other art history graduates work in education as teachers and professors. This profession is ideal for individuals who want to share their passion for art with the next generation. Professionals with a bachelor’s degree in art history can teach grades K-12, although many prefer to specialize in teaching a particular subject, such as European or American art. Those with a penchant for research and writing can pursue a job as a journalist. Newspapers, magazines, and online publications often need expert art writers to inform readers about the contemporary art world. Individuals who enjoy a bit of intrigue might consider a career as an art crimes investigator. This type of crime investigator is an essential member of a law enforcement team, as they can use their knowledge of art to trace stolen works or identify forged paintings. Art historians are also valuable members of the auction house workforce, where they can present artworks to potential buyers and manage the bidding process as it takes place.