Greek Art History Education Program Options

Oct 24, 2019

Essential Information

Graduate degree programs in the classics consider the aesthetics, culture and history of Greek art. Program content examines the characteristic formal elements of Greek sculpture, pottery, painting and architecture from the antiquities era. It considers the feelings that individuals of that era had about their creations and the affect that changes in technology, materials, politics and social relations had on artistic decisions.

Most master's programs in the classics help students look at the art and architecture of ancient Greece and explore its relationship to the people and culture as a whole. Doctoral degree programs in the classics provide degree candidates with a wide measure of latitude in deciding the direction of their studies. They allow students to choose an area of concentration for their research, such as prehistoric Greek art.

Applicants to these programs must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in a related major. In addition, proficiency in Greek or Latin often required for a doctoral program.

Master's Degree in the Classics with an Art and Architecture Concentration

Two-year master's degree programs in the classics require students to take language courses in ancient Greek and Latin but tend to be more heavily skewed towards art courses. Courses and topics related to Greek art history and architecture might include:

  • Antiquities art history and theory
  • Art and archaeology
  • Golden age architecture
  • Aegean era art
  • Hellenic era art

Doctoral Degree in the Classics with an Art and Architecture Concentration

Doctoral programs are a mix of courses, seminars and dissertation research. Most classroom instruction in a doctoral program is concentrated in a candidate's chosen specialization. Courses and seminars make up the first two to three years of a program, with dissertation research filling the final years. In total, they take five to eight years to complete. Courses and topics studied include:

  • Research methods with classical texts
  • Prehistoric Greek art
  • Ancient Greek music
  • Archaic and classical art
  • Archaic and classical performance

Popular Career Options

There are relatively few career options for someone with a master's degree in the classics. Degree holders may find a position as a:

  • Research assistant
  • Community college teacher
  • Translator

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of a doctoral program in the classics with an art history concentration are qualified to become professors at the postsecondary level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 11% increase in employment of postsecondary professors over the 2018-2028 decade ( However, this growth is likely to be concentrated in more popular areas of study. The median annual salary for history professors was $74,590 as of May 2018.

Doctoral degree holders may also become academic librarians. Since 2013, there has been a shortage of academic librarians, according to the American Philological Association ( The BLS projects a 6% growth in employment of librarians from 2018-2028. The median salary for librarians was $59,050, as of May 2018.

While it is not possible to earn a graduate degree specifically in Greek Art History, students who are passionate about the subject can choose to focus their studies in the field while enrolled in master's and doctoral degree programs in the classics.

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