Students seeking graduate-level study in art history can find programs at colleges of art and design as well as general 4-year colleges and universities. A master's degree is typically needed to work as a museum curator or conservator, while a Ph.D. may be appropriate for students who wish to teach at the university level or conduct independent research.
Top 10 Art History Graduate Schools
Listed below are ten of the top schools for graduate degrees (Master's and Ph.D.) in Art History. Additional fees and/or living expenses apply for some schools.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Tuition (2016-17 except where noted)*|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT||4-year, Private||$39,800|
|Rhode Island School of Design||Providence, RI||4-year, Private||$45,840 (2015-2016)|
|School of the Art Institute of Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private||$1580 per credit hour for Master's students|
|University of California - Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||$16,405.37 for resident Master's students, $31,507.37 for non-residents; $16,425.37 for resident doctoral students, $31,527.37 for non-residents|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||4-year, Public||$7,496.50 resident Master's students, $13,560.50 non-residents; $6,544.00 for resident doctoral students, $11,942.00 for non-residents|
|California Institute of the Arts||Valencia, CA||4-year, Private||$45,030 for full-time students|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private||$41,520 for graduate students of humanities, including history|
|Cranbrook Academy of Art||Bloomfield Hills, MI||4-year, Private||$34,375|
|Maryland Institute College of Art||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Private||$43,760|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||$21,776 for Master's students, $28,780 for doctoral students|
Tuition rates listed are for graduate programs, with the exception of RISD and Cal Arts, which do not differentiate between graduate and undergraduate tuition rates on their sites.
Sources: * School Websites
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School Selection Criteria
Different schools may offer different areas of concentration and the option for interdisciplinary studies, as well as proximity to urban areas and museums with job opportunities. It is also important to note that earning a doctorate takes longer than achieving a master's degree.
- Graduate programs in art history may culminate in a Master of Arts (M.A.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
- When selecting an art history graduate school, it is important to evaluate the time commitment and schedule involved in the programs offered.
- Some graduate programs may offer funding through research or teaching assistantships.
- Those considering graduate programs in art history may base their decision on available concentrations such as; American art and architecture, pre-Columbian art, renaissance art and modern art.
M.A. in Art History
An M.A. in Art History typically takes two years of full-time study, but could take up to four years of part-time study to complete. In addition to coursework requirements, students are required to complete a master's thesis. Some programs may require or provide credit for internships or practicums. A bachelor's degree and GRE scores are required for admission to an M.A. program.
Ph.D. in Art History
Ph.D. programs typically consist of coursework and research. Coursework usually takes two years to complete, includes a foreign language requirement and is followed by a qualifying exam or paper. The next 2-3 years are spent researching and writing the dissertation. Admission criteria for the programs vary, with some Ph.D. in Art History programs requiring students to already hold a master's degree in a subject directly relevant to art history and others allowing students with only bachelor's degrees to enroll.
When it comes to art history graduate programs in the U.S., there are a variety of both Master's and doctoral degree programs available, each offering different specializations, coursework and research opportunities. Students applying to art history graduate programs should consider which degree level is most appropriate for their career goals, and what concentrations are available.