Art History Universities and Colleges in the U.S.

Instruction in art history is typically offered through a university or college's fine arts department or through its college of liberal arts. In these programs, students may be trained in art criticism, aesthetics or museum curation. Students selecting an art history school often take into account the degree levels offered, potential areas of specialization and degree requirements.

How to Select an Art History School

Students evaluating art history schools typically start by considering the degree level and concentration areas offered at the institution. Credentials for art historians are commonly available at the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) levels. Additionally, some universities have on-campus art museums and galleries, so potential students may look for schools with collections that align with their interests.

When considering schools for art history, students may also consider:

  • There are many areas of study within art history, and concentration areas are organized by time period, geographic region, culture and many other criteria.
  • Degree requirements may vary from school to school; for example, some art history programs require students to take coursework in at least one foreign language.

Top 10 Fine Arts Schools

College/UniversityInstitution Type
Yale University 4-year, private
Rhode Island School of Design 4-year, private
School of the Art Institute of Chicago 4-year, private
University of California--Los Angeles 4-year, public
Virginia Commonwealth University 4-year, public
California Institute of the Arts 4-year, private
Carnegie Mellon University 4-year, private
Cranbrook Academy of Art 4-year, private
Maryland Institute College of Art 4-year, private
Columbia University 4-year, private

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