Art History Universities and Colleges in the U.S.

Art history is a broad-reaching field of study that is offered through many programs at a great number of schools. Credentials for art historians are commonly available at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Top Fine Arts Schools

According to US News, seven of the highest-ranked schools in the country for fine arts are:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Yale University New Haven, CT 4-year, private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Postgraduate Certificate $47,600
University of California--Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $12,763 in-state, $37,471 out-of-state
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $12,772 in-state, $31,464 out-of-state
Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI 4-year, private Bachelor's, Master's $45,840
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, private Bachelor's, Master's $43,960
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Postgraduate certificate $53,000
Alfred University - New York State College of Ceramics Alfred, NY 4-year, private Bachelor's $26,261

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics and school websites

School Selection Criteria

When selecting a school for art history, students should consider:

  • There are many areas of study within the subject of art history, including concentrations in particular eras, geographic regions, cultures, and styles, so students should choose a school with a curriculum that is relevant to their interests.
  • 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.
  • Some schools may have study abroad opportunities for art history students.
  • Some universities have on-campus art museums and galleries, so potential students may look for schools with collections that align with their interests.

Art history degree programs can be found at a number of universities, and curricula can vary widely. Students should choose an art history program based on a number of relevant factors, including location, tuition rates, and access to galleries and related artistic institutions.

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