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If your dream career has you studying classical art or curating museum art exhibitions, an online master’s in art history may be in your future.
Many careers in this competitive landscape require a master’s degree, which can be tough to pursue if you already work full time or have other time-consuming obligations. However, online learning has made it easier than ever to fit education into your busy life, thanks to accommodating delivery methods, flexible class schedules and few or no travel requirements.
Online art history master’s programs are limited in the U.S., but finding the right program still requires care and consideration. On this page, we explore two accredited, nonprofit universities offering online master’s degrees for aspiring art history experts.
We scored two accredited, nonprofit colleges offering online art history master’s programs in the U.S. using 16 data points in the categories of credibility, affordability, student outcomes, student experience and application process. We pulled data for these categories from reliable resources such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; private, third-party data sources; and individual school and program websites. Data is accurate as of January 2023.
We scored schools based on the following categories:
- Overall graduation rate
- Median earnings 10 years after graduation
- In-state graduate student tuition
- In-state graduate student fees
- Alternative tuition plans offered
- Median federal student loan debt
- Percentage of students in federal student loan deferment
- Student-to-faculty ratio
- Socioeconomic diversity
- Availability of online coursework
- Total number of graduate assistants
- More than 50% of graduate students enrolled in at least some distance education
- Fully accredited
- Programmatic accreditation status
- Nonprofit status
We listed the two schools in the U.S. that met our ranking criteria.
Find our full list of methodologies here.
Master’s in Art History Online Degree Options
- Azusa Pacific University
- University of Nebraska at Kearney
Should You Enroll in an Online Art History Master’s Program?
An online art history master’s program may appeal to many students, but not all are suited to distance learning. Online programs often feature asynchronous courses, which are largely self-paced. Though this format can benefit busy students with packed schedules, it also requires lots of self-discipline and strong time management skills. If you prefer the structure of a traditional classroom, you might seek in-person or hybrid options instead.
When it comes to time and money, online programs offer some clear advantages over on-campus programs. Many online degrees do not require campus visits, eliminating travel time and costs and opening the door to faraway schools. And to better accommodate out-of-state learners, some public universities charge the same tuition rates to all online students, regardless of where they live; this can save you a bundle on out-of-state fees.
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Art History Programs
Institutional accreditation can affect your eligibility for federal student aid, credit transfers, employment opportunities and advanced degree programs, so it’s important to choose an accredited university.
Institutional accreditation must come from an organization approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education. Approved accrediting bodies evaluate a school’s curricula, faculty, student services, facilities, resources and student outcomes to determine their accreditation decisions.
As an optional quality assurance measure, you can also consider programmatic accreditation in your search for an art history master’s program. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design Commission on Accreditation evaluates bachelor’s and master’s programs in art, including art history programs. Holding a NASAD-accredited degree tells your future employers that your graduate education met high industry standards.
How To Find the Right Master’s in Art History Online Program for You
Consider Your Future Goals
To choose the right online master’s in art history program, you must first factor in your future goals. Consider the era and media you want to study, and prioritize programs offering relevant coursework or specializations. Also, think about the faculty you want to work with; ensure your school has a specialist in your area of interest.
Consider how each program’s curriculum could affect your future as well. For example, you may need to build up a portfolio for your prospective career; if so, seek programs with a portfolio component. If you need a thesis or capstone research project to prepare you for a doctoral program, look for more research-oriented programs.
Understand Your Expenses and Financing Options
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition and fees for the average graduate student cost $19,749 for the 2020-21 academic year. More specifically, tuition and fees averaged $12,394 at public schools and $26,621 at private schools. The schools on this page offer comparatively competitive tuition rates. APU’s entire master’s program costs less than $24,000; UNK’s costs less than $11,000.
When researching tuition prices, you might also look into the amount of financial support provided by your prospective schools. Make sure to complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to learn what type of federal aid you may be eligible for. The FAFSA helps you qualify for national, regional and institutional aid as well. Depending on your school choice, you may also have access to grants, work-study programs and assistantships.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Online Art History Master’s Programs
Is it worth it to get a master’s in art history?
If you want to work in the art history field, a master’s in art history can be very worthwhile. Many art history roles, including archivist and museum curator, require a master’s degree at minimum. These positions also pay above-average wages; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports median annual salaries of $60,380 for curators and $58,640 for archivists.
What can you do with a master’s in art history?
With a master’s in art history, you can pursue a Ph.D. in art history, teach art or art history, or work in a museum or an art gallery. You might also work as an art director or a historian.