A career in art and art history can be enriching and potentially lucrative. The number of career possibilities is endless with an education in art and its related fields. Graduates of art studio programs go on to find work in advertising, media, or as artists producing works for sale and exhibition.
Art history students can look forward to careers as museum conservators, curators, archivists, or art history professors. Many of these positions require advanced education, so earning a graduate degree is essential to staying competitive in the job market. Job growth for art directors, fine artists, and multimedia artists is expected to grow about as fast as the rest of the economy. However, the outlook for curators and other museum workers is expected to grow slightly faster than average. In either case, students with advanced degrees will fare better in a competitive field. To help find the best program for you, check out the 10 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Art & Art History.
Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the Best Online Master's in Art & Art History, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:
25% – Student Satisfaction
30% – Earning Potential
15% – Retention Data
20% – Affordability
10% – Acceptance Rates
For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.
#1 Azusa Pacific University
M.A. in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism (online)
Through the scholarly analysis of modern and contemporary art, the M.A. in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism at Azusa Pacific University prepares students for a wide range of art history careers. Students looking for accelerated programs can complete it in as little as 17-24 months. Students study on their own schedule, but are required to be online at set times to complete assignments and take part in discussions. Students are required to be at reading-level proficiency in a foreign language to complete the degree. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
#2 The University of Nebraska at Kearney
The Master in Education – Art Education: Museum Education Emphasis
Earn your Master in Education and prepare for a career in the art world entirely online from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Students will need a Bachelor's degree in art education or visual arts to enter the program, which consists of museum and classroom concentrations. A combination of required and elective courses gives students a broad understanding of art and prepares a career in museum education. This program does not grant certification to teach art in K-12 schools. The university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
#3 Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Master of Arts in Art the Study of Fine & Graphic Arts
The Master of Arts in Arts degree from the Northwestern State University of Louisiana prepares students to meet the demands of the modern art world with a combination of study and hands-on experience. The Master of Arts degree is a low residency online program that allows students to select concentrations in painting, drawing, design, photography, crafts, sculpture, studio, graphics, watercolor, ceramics, commercial art, or art history. While most classes can be completed online, students are required to attend two three-week summer sessions or one semester at the beginning of their degree. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
#4 Fort Hays State University
Master of Liberal Studies degree in Art History
Prepare for a career in art instruction, museum curation, or beyond with a Master of Liberal Studies degree in Art History from Fort Hays State University. Students will explore art history during the ancient and medieval periods, along with courses in Renaissance/Baroque, 18th and 19th Century, and Twentieth Century art. In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in art history or studio art, applicants must complete 12 undergrad courses in Art History along with submitting a writing sample and professional resume. FHSU is regionally accredited by the North Central Association for Colleges and Schools.
#5 Radford University
Master of Fine Arts
The Master of Fine Arts from Radford University gives students the skills to begin careers as professional artists, graphic designers, or to teach art at the university level. Students complete a sequence of three core courses entirely online before embarking on a concentration in photography, drawing, jewelry and metalworking, painting, ceramics, or graphic design. Applicants will need to hold a BFA or a BA in art or graphic design and submit an electronic portfolio. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
#6 Lindenwood University
St. Charles, Missouri
Master of Arts In Art History
Students looking to start careers in art history can gain experience in scholarly research with Lindenwood University’s Master of Arts in Art History. Lindenwood offers students a broad grounding in the visual arts through specialization in a historical period of the student’s choosing. Lindenwood students must complete a Foreign Language Requirement in either French or German. The graduate degree can be completed in either hybrid or fully-online formats. Lindenwood University is approved by the National Council For State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.
#7 Academy of Art University
San Francisco, California
Online Art History Degree
With a curriculum that covers ancient art to pre-war modern art, students can gain advanced knowledge of western art history with the Academy of Art’s Online Art History degree. Enrolled students access the same high-quality instruction as their classroom-based counterparts but with the convenience of online learning. The Academy’s program features a custom-built Learning Management System aimed at giving students a high-tech and immersive educational experience. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
#8 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Master of Arts with Art Education Concentration
Guide and shape the next generation of student-artists with a Master of Arts with Art Education from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Students complete coursework in art education current issues, teaching strategy, therapeutic art education, and research methods. Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree in art or other relevant field and hold certification to teach art. Edinboro University accepts graduate students from all 50 states through participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
#9 Maine College of Art
Master of Fine Arts
The Maine College of Art offers students one of the oldest low-residency art graduate degrees with its Low Residency Master of Fine Arts program. Students complete the two-year trimester-based program while continuing to work on their career. Several on-campus sessions are planned throughout the year, including an eight-week summer intensive in Maine for all new program participants. During the program’s off-campus study sessions, students receive mentorship, critique, and feedback through MECA’s network of studio advisors. The college is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
#10 Savannah College of Art and Design
Master of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts
The Savannah College of Art & Design is among the most comprehensive art and design schools anywhere in the world. Online students can choose from programs in Animation (MA or MFA), Fashion (MA or MFA), Graphic Design (MA or MFA), Painting (MFA only), and more. In total, 14 graduate degrees are offered by SCAD. Students have access to learning materials 24/7 and can apply to the college at any time throughout the year. SCAD courses operate on a ten-week quarter system. SCAD is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.