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Art History


Programs in art history teach people the cultural and intellectual development of the arts.

Art history programs include topics such as:

Students of art history may work in these areas:


Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in art history where you can earn a bachelor's, a master's, or a doctoral (PhD) degree. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Your bachelor's degree doesn't necessarily have to be in art history if you're applying to a master's degree program. You should, however, take several courses in art history. And some schools may even require you to make up undergraduate courses before you can enter their programs and begin graduate-level course work.

If you're pursuing a doctoral degree, you do typically need a master's degree in art history or another closely related field.

Related work or volunteer experience is helpful as well.

Additional requirements at many schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically first take required core courses such as the following:

You then generally take electives. The following is a list of sample elective courses you might take:

Many programs encourage you to take courses in other departments such as religion, history, and literature, especially if the courses relate to your specific interests.

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate course work also tends to vary from program to program. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

You also usually need to have reading knowledge in at least one language other than English. Typical choices include French, German, and Italian, but you have other options as well.

Things to Know

You usually need a doctoral degree to teach college, manage museums, or direct art publications. A bachelor's and a master's degree generally prepare you for entry- to mid-level positions.

When choosing a graduate program, you may want to look at the faculty biographies on school websites. You may want to study with someone whose research interests mirror yours.

Internships allow students to develop skills at companies or organizations. An internship or practicum is not usually required in this program of study. However, you should still seek one out if possible. Job-related work or volunteer experience can improve your job prospects and also help you secure reference letters.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

Whitman College

King-Snohomish Area

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

University of Puget Sound

West Side Area

Evergreen State College, The

Western Washington University