Online PhD in Art History: Degree Overview

Dec 05, 2019

Learn about online degree programs in Art History. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Fully-online Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in art history are unavailable, although some colleges and universities may offer online courses that can count toward a doctoral degree in this field of study. Art education can be found online at the doctoral level, though even those programs are pretty rare.

It's possible to find online bachelor's degree programs in art history and partially-online or fully-online master's degree programs in art education. A bachelor's program in art history may require completion of all general education coursework prior to enrollment. An artistic portfolio is an important component of admission to an art education master's program.

Bachelor's Degree in Art History

Students interested in pursuing an art history degree online can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. This program is intended for students who have already completed general education requirements and prerequisite art history courses. The program consists of advanced level courses in art history and offers students an opportunity to learn about past and present artists and their work.


Students should have an updated browsing software and operating system installed on their personal computer. High-speed Internet access is recommended as well. Students access class assignments and schedules through the school's secure website. Faculty and student communication takes place via e-mail, message boards and chat rooms.

Common Courses

Students study the history of art during the formative time periods, such as Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance and the Baroque period. Special topics include women in ancient and modern art and Native American art.

Asian Art

This course focuses on a variety of art forms from the different countries in Asia, including India, China and Japan. Topics include pottery and sculpture, painting and architecture. Students also explore how Asian art styles influenced the rest of the world.

Modern Art History

The modern art course covers neoclassicism in the 19th century through the modern era. Students trace the evolution of present art aesthetics and study specific influential artists.

Prehistoric and Primitive Art

In this course, students learn about early art starting in the Paleolithic period. This class focuses on the beginnings of art in Africa and Oceania.

Master's Degree - Art Education

A Master of Arts in Art Education program focuses on the use of digital media in the art programs found in elementary and secondary schools. Students learn about contemporary art theory and art education pedagogy. In addition to coursework, students must also complete and present a researched thesis. Programs can be completed in two years.

Information and Requirements

The art education master's program is available entirely online. A bachelor's degree is required, preferably with a major in art history or studio art. Applicants must also submit a sample of their written and artistic work.

Class discussions occur through Internet chat rooms, and students can take exams, receive assignments and submit assignments through a university's web-based system. Instructors educate students through textbooks, DVDs and online tutorials.

Common Courses

Many classes in the program highlight online discussions to generate new ideas and share researched information. Core courses in the program include:

History of Art Education

This class identifies major figures and events that have determined current art teaching. Students learn about contemporary art education in public schools and analyze their own belief systems about art and how they affect teaching.

Art Education Contemporary Issues

This course takes a look at the relationships between society, education and art. Students use updated journals and online resources to investigate current theories and practices in the field of art education. Specific topics include censorship, curriculum planning, standardized testing and multiculturalism.

Research Methods

In this class students learn techniques for discovering and using literature in art history and education. Participants become familiar with research design, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. Students create an extensive research project to evaluate procedures through practice and experimentation.

Career Information

Studies in art history prepare graduates to be museum technicians, archivists and conservators. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), archivists had an average annual wage of $56,400 as of May 2018, while museum technicians and conservators had average annual wages of $43,020 (

A Master of Arts in Art Education is an appropriate degree for artists, art education researchers, and art elementary, middle and secondary school teachers. Each state has its own certification requirements for art teachers in public schools. Some online art education programs have an option to prepare students for teacher certification. The BLS reports that elementary, middle and secondary education teachers had average annual wages of $58,230, $58,600 and $60,320, respectively as of May 2018.

Although there are no online art history programs at the doctoral level, schools offer both bachelor's and master's degrees online in this field. If you're looking for a relevant PhD, you can find a few art education programs offered online. With an art history degree, your career options vary widely from archival to conservation to education.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • 4
    Yale University
  • 5
    Washington University in St Louis
  • 6
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 7
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 8
    University of Illinois at Chicago
  • 9
    University of Chicago
  • 10
    Tulane University of Louisiana

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?