Do you love to be surrounded by a world of creativity and art? Does a career in art make your heart sing?

A Master in Art History degree offers a rewarding career without following the struggling route of an artist. Obtaining a traditional or accelerated Master’s in Art History online degree allows you to follow artistic passions but offers marketable career skills for those with a love of art.

Are you interested in learning about careers that are available with the many on-campus or online accelerated master’s programs in art history?

A Master’s in Art History degree holder has explored and analyzed famous works of art and the relevant historical context. The degree requires students to hone their critical thinking, research, and communication skills if they are to be successful.

An art history graduate degree prepares graduates for a variety of engaging and rewarding careers. It is beneficial to have strong organizational, planning, interpersonal, and creative skills if you choose this career.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Art History Online

Fast Online Master’s editors want Art History Students to find a program that pays off for them. That’s why we feature only trustworthy, accredited institutions. In the Most Affordable ranking, we present programs in order from lowest tuition to highest, according to current IPEDS stats.

1.Fort Hays State University

fort-hays-state-university

Fort Hays State University (FHSU Online) College of Arts, Humanities & Social Services/Department of Art offers a Master of Liberal Studies degree (MLS) in Art history that is available entirely online. Fort Hays State University’s Masters in Art History online program is ranked among the most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in the United States. This accelerated Master’s in Art History program has a credit requirement of 31 hours. Coursework for this accelerated online graduate art degree includes ancient art history, renaissance/baroque art history, graduate readings in art history, and medieval art, to name a few.

Students graduating from Fort Hays State University’s Masters in Art History degree prepares students for rewarding work as an art history educator, art critic, gallery manager, or museum curator, to name a few. Additionally, many Fort Hays State University art history graduates pursue doctoral-level studies towards a terminal degree.

Fort Hays State University

2. The University of Florida

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The University of Florida (UF at a Distance) offers a Master of Arts Degree in Art Education (MAAE) that is ranked among the most affordable of all Florida NASAD-accredited online accelerated master’s programs in art education. Students enrolled in the University of Florida’s Masters in Art History online program must finish at least 36 graduate semester units to meet UF criteria for graduation – including research, advanced studio design, foundational knowledge, and a final project, to name a few.

Featured classes for UF’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program in education include art and global diversity, the curriculum in teaching art, and contemporary issues in art education, to name a few. The final project for this graduate degree in art history from the University of Florida includes these options – an independent study, research methods, or a capstone project.

University of Florida

3. Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences offers a Masters in Art History online program that can be completed entirely online. This is an innovative online accelerated master’s program in art history and is the only program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Students enrolled in Eastern Washington University’s Masters in Art History online program are offered multiple start dates, no GRE requirements, and pay-as-you-go tuition. Students seeking an accelerated graduate degree path in art history will find that Eastern Washington University can be completed in under twelve months for those students attending classes full-time.

Eastern Washington University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program prepares students for some of the most rewarding careers in the areas of arts-history; across industries that include, in part, higher learning, library science, curatorship, genealogist or writer, to name a few.

Eastern Washington University

4. The University of Nebraska at Kearney

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The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK Online) Department of Art and Design offers a Master of Arts Degree in Education degree with an academic specialty in Art Education that can be completed entirely online. Although not a degree certification degree, this accelerated Master’s in Art History program from UNK offers students two academic concentrations – museum education or classroom education. Applicants to the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s affordable online accelerated master’s programs must hold an undergraduate degree in art history, education, visual arts, graphic arts museum studies, or a BFA to be qualified.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s 36 credit hour, affordable Masters in Art History online program prepares degree graduates for a variety of rewarding careers in the various fields of art. Graduates enter the workforce as art directors, museum educators, art program directors, museum archivists, or creative directors, to name a few.

University of Nebraska at Kearney

5. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

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Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s award-winning School of Creative and Performing Arts offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Fine and Graphic Arts that explores art history from a context in which the history belongs. The online program is a 33 semester unit graduate degree program offering three academic concentrations. These are photography, new media, or design. As one of Louisiana’s leading online accelerated master’s programs, Northwestern State University’s graduate art degree is accredited by NASAD.

Northwestern State University’s affordable art history degree prepares students for rewarding careers that meet the demands of the profession. Note, however, that there is a low residency requirement when completing the graduate thesis exhibition. Graduates from this Art History program are prepared for rewarding careers throughout the art world, including portfolio production.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

6. The University of Northern Iowa

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The University of Northern Iowa (UNI Online) offers a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Art Education that ranks among Iowa’s leading affordable online accelerated master’s programs in art education. Applicants to the University of Northern Iowa’s affordable Masters in Art History online program must hold a BA in art education, art history, or BFA/BA in studio art and a teaching certificate. Students enrolled in UNI’s graduate degree in art education must complete a minimum of 30 graduate semester units to comply with graduation criteria.

The University of Northern Iowa’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program includes these featured classes – curriculum and pedagogy in art education, readings in art education, seminar in teaching art I, II, & III, themes in art education, and holistic approaches for art education, to name a few.

The University of Northern Iowa

7. The University of Nebraska @ Lincoln

university-of-nebraska-lincoln

The University of Nebraska’s Lincoln’s (UNL Online) School of Art, Art History and Design offers a Master of Arts degree (MA) in Art History that is one of Nebraska’s leading affordable online accelerated master’s programs. This Art History online program can be completed in as few as 24 months and requires 36 credit hours to meet the criteria. Enrolled students have the opportunity to participate in archeological fieldwork to enhance their research skills.

This accelerated Master’s in Art History program from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln offers these academic specialties and minors medieval-Renaissance studies, nineteenth-century studies, classics, and Great Plains Studies, to name a few. Degree candidates have had internships in many museums, including Sheldon, Great Plains, Joslyn Art, and State Museum at Morrill Hall, to name a few.

The University of Nebraska’s Lincoln

8. Arizona State University

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Arizona State University (ASU Online) Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts/School of Art offers a Master of Arts Degree in Art History ranked among the most affordable of Arizona’s online accelerated master’s programs. Students enrolled in Arizona State University’s Masters in Art History online program can complete the program in as few as 18 months. This graduate degree from Arizona State University requires degree candidates to complete 10 classes or 30 credit units to meet graduation criteria and select from a culminating project that includes an internship, research, or reading/conference.

Students applying to Arizona State University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program may transfer up to 12 credit units if the credits meet eligibility requirements. Coursework for this Arizona State University degree covers topics in images and digital technologies across political & social contexts amid historical backdrops.

Arizona State University

9. The University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma (OU Distance) College of Fine Arts/School of Visual Arts offers a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Art History recognized to be one of the most affordable of online accelerated master’s programs in art history in Oklahoma and beyond. Applicants to this Masters in Art History online program from the University of Oklahoma must have completed a minimum of 18 hours in art history undergraduate classes. If students possess less than 18 hours, they must demonstrate their proficiency to complete graduate-level work.

The University of Oklahoma’s 30-credit accelerated Master’s in Art History program requires 21 credits be from the art history curriculum. Students graduating from this graduate degree in art history are prepared to enter a doctoral program in related studies or to work for a gallery or museum.

University of Oklahoma

10. Radford University

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Radford University College of Graduate Studies and Research offers an affordable Master of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art that is among the most innovative online accelerated master’s programs in Virginia and beyond. The online program requires the completion of 60 semester units. Students enrolled in this affordable graduate degree from Radford University must also complete a thesis and a Master of Fine Arts exhibition to meet graduation requirements.

This accelerated Master’s in Art History program from Radford University includes these featured classes – instructional design and evaluation, studio management, studio management, critical thinking/writing in art, and international art history I & II, to name a few. Students graduating from Radford University’s graduate degree in studio art find rewarding careers as educators in the areas of graphic design, painting, or mixed media, to name a few.

Radford University

11. Ohio State University

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Art History Online for 2018

Ohio State University (OSU Online) Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy offer a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Art Education that is among the leading online accelerated master’s programs in art history in Ohio and beyond. Students enrolled in Ohio State University’s affordable Masters in Art History online program is offered as a flexible program and can be completed as a part-time student. Additionally, both the NASAD and NCATE have awarded accreditation to this program.

Ohio State University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program requires students to complete a total of 30 graduate hours – across seven semesters, including core coursework, electives, and non-thesis credits. Featured core classes for this art history degree include critical analysis of multicultural art education, the teaching of studio activities, theories for art educators, and curriculum planning and assessment in art education, to name a few.

Ohio State University

12. Eastern Illinois University

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Eastern Illinois University (EIU Online) Department of Art offers a Master of Arts Degree in Art with an academic emphasis in Art Education that is considered among the most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in art education in Illinois and beyond. This Masters in Art History online program requires enrolled students to complete 33 credit hours as part-time students in only two years. Note, however, there is limited residency during the summer as the program is designed for practicing art teachers. Tuition fees are the same for residents and nonresidents.

Eastern Illinois University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program has received accreditation from NASAD and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Featured art history coursework includes special topics and navigating the virtual museum plus art education classes that include artistic development and creative technology in art education, among others.

Eastern Illinois University

13. The University of Kentucky

Top 30 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Library and Information Sciences Online for 2019

The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts/Department of Arts Administration offers a Master of Arts Degree in Arts Administration that is considered among the top innovative online accelerated master’s programs in art administration in Kentucky and beyond. The online program in administration has been developed to meet the needs of working professionals who wishes to enhance their leadership skills in art management and is offered at affordable tuition rates. The program from the University of Kentucky offers affordability and convenience.

The University of Kentucky’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program offers these feature classes – the arts & the artists in society, the arts and the law, fundraising techniques, and management and leadership in the arts, to name a few. Graduates find rewarding careers across art sectors as art administration managers and the next generation of art administration leaders.

University of Kentucky

14. Harvard Extension School

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Harvard Extension School (Harvard Online Continuing Ed) offers a Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) Degree in Extension Studies with an academic concentration in Museum Studies that is among the leading online accelerated master’s programs in museum studies available. This affordable Masters in Art History online program from the Harvard Extension School offers an optional certificate in nonprofit management, digital storytelling, and learning design & technology.

Harvard Extension School’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program prepares students for leading roles in keeping collections at museums relevant and engaging. Classes include museum operations in the 21 century, visitor education and engagement, public outreach, and museum technology, plus an optional internship, to name a few. Graduates work in historical societies, art galleries, universities, and museums, to name a few.

Harvard Extension School

15. Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University College of Arts and Humanities offers a Master of Arts Degree (MA) program in Art History and Visual Culture that is available entirely online. The online program is offered with a one-year fast track option that explores a broad foundation across visual art and culture sectors. Students enrolled in one of Missouri’s most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in art history will be required to complete at least 30 graduate credit units.

Lindenwood University’s graduate art history degree offers several degree-completion options – a thesis option and an applied project (or non-thesis) option, with all students required to complete a comprehensive art exam. Students enrolled in Lindenwood University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program explores both contemporary and traditional approaches of art history, grounded in methods and research, but offer a bit of customization to students with varied art history interests.

Lindenwood University

16. The Academy of Art University

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The Academy of Art University (AAU at a Distance) School of Art offers one of the leading online accelerated master’s programs in California and the west coast that allows students to explore a comprehensive art history degree 100% online. This Masters in Art History online program from the Academy of Art University is delivered using a flexible course format that allows students to complete the degree at a pace that works for the student. In addition, AAU’s graduate art history degree offers study abroad opportunities to enrolled students.

The Academy of Art University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program, from the heart of the City by the Bay, prepares students for integral roles in the management of museums, galleries, education, curation, administration, connoisseurship, and visual technology, to name a few. Graduates explore the many avenues towards becoming a well-versed art critic or stronger art historian.

Academy of Art University

17. The Maine College of Art & Design

The Maine College of Art (MECA&D) offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in Studio Art that is considered among New England’s most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in studio art. This renowned Masters in Art History online program includes visiting artists, international art critics, curators, and carefully selected graduate advisors. The curriculum for MECA’s graduate degree in studio art seeks to intersect studio production with critical analysis, travel, and individual research. Note there is a low residency requirement for this graduate degree in studio art, available for experienced artists.

The Maine College of Art’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program requires students to complete 60 graduate credits units to meet program requirements. International travel makes Maine College of Art and Design’s graduate degree in studio art unique and innovative, and highly competitive.

Maine College of Art

18. The Savannah College of Art And Design

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The Savannah College of Art And Design (SCAD Online) offers a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Art History that is considered among the most affordable of the leading online accelerated master’s programs in the southern United States. Degree candidates enrolled in SCAD’s Masters in Art History online program must complete at least 45 graduate credit units to meet graduation criteria.

The featured classes included in this Savannah College of Art And Design’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program are modern and contemporary critical theory, the historiography of art history, plus an art history thesis, to name a few. Graduates of SCAD’s master’s in art history degree find rewarding careers as an art appraiser, culture conservator, curator, art journalist, or art historian, to name a few. Previous graduates have been hired by the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the Smithsonian Institute, and the National Portrait Gallery, among others.

Savannah College of Art And Design

19. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Art History Online for 2018

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA Online) offers a Master of Fine Arts Degree (MFA) is a low residency Masters in Art History online program that ranks among Pennsylvania’s most affordable online accelerated master’s programs. Degree candidates enrolled in PAFA’s MFA degree must complete a minimum of 60 graduate credit hours to earn the art degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts’ accelerated Master’s in Art History program allows students to explore a wide range of approaches to the field of art through independent studio work. Fall & Spring semesters are off-site, with Summers requiring on-site visits. Sample coursework for PAFA’s graduate art degree includes Art in the City, 20th Century Art, Reframing Theory, and Writing for Artists, plus a thesis, to name a few.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

20. Azusa Pacific University

Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Art History Online for 2018

Azusa Pacific University  (APU Distance) offers a Master of Arts Degree in Modern and Contemporary Art History that has been developed to accommodate the needs of working professionals. Students enrolled in Azusa Pacific University’s military-friendly Masters in Art History online program will complete a minimum of 36 graduate credit units that explore innovative approaches to studying contemporary and modern art. As one of California’s most affordable online accelerated master’s programs in modern and contemporary art, coursework includes historical methods and research practices, to name a few.

Students graduating from Azusa Pacific University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program in modern art find rewarding work across the art realm, in publishing, museums, education, or gallery work, to name a few. More specifically, graduates work as Auction House Managers, Art Critics, Museum Curators, Museum Administrators, and Art Writers, among others.

Azusa Pacific University

21. Johns Hopkins University

johns-hopkins-university

Johns Hopkins University (Hopkins at a Distance) Krieger School of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Museum Studies that is among the most innovative and affordable online accelerated master’s programs in the nation. Students enrolled in Johns Hopkins University’s Masters in Art History online program must complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit units in as few as 20 months. It is noted that there is a limited two-week residence either on-campus or sites available abroad.

Johns Hopkins University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program is customizable and offers tracks in collections, exhibitions & development digital curation, heritage management, or nonprofit management. Students graduating from Johns Hopkins University’s graduate museum degree find rewarding careers working at art facilities, historic sites, museums, or zoos, to name a few. Students can opt to enhance their degree with a complimentary certificate.

Johns Hopkins University

22. The University of Denver

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The University of Denver (Denver Distance) offers a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Arts & Culture Management that is among the most innovative online accelerated master’s programs in arts management in the country. This Masters in Art History online program from the University of Denver offers degree candidates three academic tracks marketing, mission-driven operations & management, or arts & culture outreach & advocacy.  In addition, the University of Denver’s graduate art management degree requires no GRE or GMAT at application.

The University of Denver’s 48-credit accelerated Master’s in Art History program can be completed in as few as 1.5 years. Featured classes for this art management degree include the legal landscape of arts and culture, best practices for arts and culture, and organizational vibrancy and measurement, to name a few. Available careers for graduates of this program include gallery owner, arts program manager, development director, or arts advocate, among others.

University of Denver

23. Drexel University

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 Drexel University (Drexel Online) offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Arts Administration & Museum Leadership that has been developed to meet the unique education & professional needs of working adults – either those in the industry or those seeking a career change. Drexel’s online accelerated master’s programs include concentrations in museum leadership or arts administration. Reduced tuition rates are available for members of the Americans for the Arts and the National Guild for Community Arts.

This accelerated Master’s in Art History program from Drexel University is a career-focused program that offers an entrepreneurial spirit and business approach to museum management. Coursework for this graduate arts management degree includes theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience to create the next generation of arts administration leaders.

 Drexel University

24. Duke University

Duke University (Duke Online) Trinity College of Arts & Sciences/Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies offers a Master of Arts Degree in Digital Art History that ranks among the leading online accelerated master’s programs in the country. This accelerated Master’s in Art History program from Duke University can be completed in as few as 1.5 years for full-time studies. Ideal applicants have professional objectives in digital art history, digital humanities, and digital archeology, to name a few. The program requires ten classes across three semesters and concludes with a Master of Arts thesis.

Duke University’s accelerated Master’s in Art History program includes these features classes – Space, Place, Movement, media, Phenomenology and Media and Visual Cultures of Medicine, to name a few. This graduate art history degree from Duke University prepares graduates for rewarding careers in public history, cultural heritage, visualization-based journalism, and museum exhibition design.

Duke University

25. George Washington University

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George Washington University (GW Online) Graduate School of Education & Human Development offers a Master of Arts Degree in Museum Education that is recognized among the best affordable online accelerated master’s programs in the nation’s capital and beyond. GW’s Masters in Art History online program has provided internships to degree candidates in the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History, to name a few. International opportunities are available in Finland, Brazil, Spain, Korea, Costa Rica, Canada, and Israel, among others.

George Washington University’s 33-credit accelerated Master’s in Art History program includes 27 core required classes in facilitating museum learning, evaluating museum learning, museums as institutions, and proposal writing, to name a few. Students graduating from George Washington’s program find rewarding work as a development officer, curator of education, docent coordinator, event planner, or museum director, to name a few.

George Washington University

Potential Careers for Master in Art History Majors

Depending on the student’s interests and career goals, the following is a sampling of the careers for those who hold a graduate art history degree –

A Museum Curator Art history graduates are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and talent to work within a museum setting, and this is one of the most popular career tracks for those who hold a Master’s in Art History online degree. Curators who have completed one of the on-campus or online master’s programs in art history will be prepared to oversee detailed collections and galleries, which includes significant research and –

  • Writing about the collection’s contents
  • Coordinating Exhibits & Staff

A Museum Director Although similar to a curator’s job, a museum director helps influence the direction of the museum but is also tasked with managerial responsibilities that may include fundraising, scholarship management, staff management, and even investment decisions—an excellent fit for business-minded students who have earned a Master’s in Art History online degree.

An Art History Professor An art history professor is an excellent career for those who have earned a Master in Art History – online or on-campus. With great depth of knowledge and a love of art, an educator can help create the same excitement in their students.

An Art Consultant If you have a serious interest in applying your skills outside of galleries or museums, then you might find art consultancy is a good fit for your skills and career goals. Consultants work for private collectors or corporations and select artwork with their expertly trained eyes. A consultant understands their client’s preferences but works within auction houses and galleries to meet their client’s goals.

An Art Dealer Art dealers can work independently or for a collector or gallery. They maintain a pulse on the industry, with an exceptional eye for art. Networking is the strategy of choice for socially-oriented art dealers.

How Much Can I Make with a Masters in Art History?

The job market for art history graduates runs the gamut but is wildly competitive. Smaller organizations offer art history majors flexibility with a lower salary, whereas larger, more well-known companies pay more but have strict hiring requirements.

According to PayScale, a museum curator who holds a Master’s in Art History online degree will earn an average of $46,809 per year, which equates to $17.27 per hour. However, for those at the top of the field, according to AAMD (the Association of Art Museum Directors), senior curators earn a median salary of $99,500 for 2020.

The regions that pay the highest for a senior museum curator at the senior level are as follows –

  • Southeast US – $79,600
  • Western US – with a median annual income of $102,600
  • New England – with a median annual income of $105,800
  • Mid-Atlantic US – with a median annual income of $107,700
  • Mountain Plains – with a median annual income of $109,000

Alternatively, the regions that pay the highest for an associate museum curator at the senior level are as follows –

  • The Southeast Section of the US – $51,200
  • The western US – with a median annual income of $76,100
  • New England – with a median annual income of $71,000
  • The Mid-Atlantic Region– with a median annual income of $87,000
  • Mountain Plains – – with a median annual income of $57,600

Related:

5 Lucrative Careers in Art History

5 Characteristics of an Art Historian