There has been an increase in demand for accelerated online Master’s in Art History degrees from professionals in the field. It should come as no surprise, especially considering that the art world is expanding to include both non-Western art as well as diverse artists. The influx in interest in diverse artists means that more professionals who are qualified to research and analyze art from a historical context.

Unfortunately, working professionals in the field, which may work in either art history or art education, do not have time to complete a traditional program. They need online programs that can work around their schedule and, if possible, be completed in two years or less. They also need programs that are affordable enough to be a worthwhile investment for their career.

Methodology

Because of the rarity of art history programs, this ranking combines art education and art history degrees. Professionals will note that several competency areas are identical in both programs.

This ranking was made possible by the information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. The ranking process began by identifying 20 schools through the use of the publicly available College Navigator database. Each school was then independently reviewed and ranked based on tuition rates and estimated time-to-completion rates for the degree. The final 15 schools were chosen based on the total estimated in-state graduate tuition cost for the entire program.

Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Art History

15. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Fine Arts

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

Website

Tuition: $45,220

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree that can be completed in three years. This in an interdisciplinary program that focuses on independent studio work and will provide students with a strong understanding of not only their work in the art space, but the history and theories that inform it. This is a low-residency degree that is unique in structure; students are required to complete three summer residencies on campus, each of which lasts for eight weeks. The summer terms are for studio work and workshops. The remainder of the curriculum is taught wholly online through asynchronous courses that last for 15 weeks. It is only possible to complete this degree in three years as this is a sequential curriculum. This degree requires that students complete 60 credit hours of coursework, a written thesis, and a visual thesis. Sample courses include 20th Century Art, Writing on Art for Artists, and Reframing Theory.

14. Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah, Georgia

Online Master of Arts in Preservation Design

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

Website

Tuition: $37,530

One of the most popular art schools in America is home to an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree. The Savannah College of Art and Design confers a degree in preservation design, which is a unique offering to art history students and focuses on the preservation of all types of art. This program has been recognized by the National Trust for Historical Preservation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. This is a rigorous hybrid degree; students will be required to take some of their courses on campus. Other courses are available through the school’s virtual portal and are completed in asynchronous and synchronous sessions that run for 16 weeks. Students who study full-time and all year round will be able to graduate in three and a half years. This degree requires 90 quarter credit hours of coursework, studio projects, a graduate internship, and a thesis. Sample courses include Digital Innovations in Preservation Design, Conserving the Built Environment, and Style and Elegance in the Classical Tradition.

13. Penn State World Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Professional Studies in Art Education

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

Website

Tuition: $26,580

Penn State World Campus is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree that is perfect for educators or art professionals working in museums and galleries nationwide. This is a 100 percent online degree that is fully accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. This program may help licensed educators prepare for certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This degree confers all of its courses online through the school’s learning management system. Courses are delivered as either live or on-demand sessions and are offered in 16-week sessions. Students who study full-time will be able to graduate within two years. This degree requires that students complete 30 credit hours of coursework, an action research project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Contemporary Art and Public Pedagogy, Action Research in Art and Museum Education, and Pedagogy of Informal Learning.

12. The University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Online Master of Arts in Arts Administration

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

Website

Tuition: $24,264

Students interested in an accelerated online Master’s in Art History alternative degree will find what they are looking for at the University of Kentucky. This is a 100 percent online degree that has no residency requirements. Students will find that all of their coursework is offered asynchronously through the school’s virtual portal; courses run in the traditional 16-week academic term format. A unique feature of this degree is that all students, regardless of their state residency, will pay in-state tuition rates. This program is focused on arts administration and will prepare students to become leaders in museums, galleries and auction houses all over the world. Students who are interested in learning more about this program and its requirements for graduation are encouraged to speak to a graduate admissions advisor.

11. Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

Online Master of Arts in Art Education

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

Website

Tuition: $23,065

Ohio State University offers working professionals an accelerated online Master’s in Art Education. This degree is fully accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. It was developed as a wholly online, cohort program that can be completed in just two years. Students will find all of their courses can be accessed through the school’s online learning management system and are delivered as live or on-demand sessions. Courses in this program follow the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework and a final reflective professional portfolio. Sample courses include Critical Analysis of Multicultural Art Education, Teaching of Studio Activities, and Overview of Research for Arts Educators.

10. Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, California

Online Master of Arts in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism

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

Website

Tuition: $22,680

The accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree that is available from Azusa Pacific University is an incredible opportunity for professionals who are interested in specializing in modern art history. This degree was designed for working professionals and is flexible enough to fit into any schedule. Students will note that this program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The school’s virtual portal will serve as a hub for students; it is here where students will complete their asynchronous courses, meet with professors, engage in team projects, and more. Because each course is available in eight-week sessions, it is possible for students to take on a full-time course of study and graduate with a one-year Master’s in Art History online degree. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework and a thesis project. Sample courses include Methodologies of Art History, Modernism and the Museum, and History of 20th-Century Art, Criticism, and Theory.

9. The University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Online Master of Arts in Art Education

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

Website

Tuition: $19,110

The University of Florida is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Art Education that will be perfect for both educators and art professionals. This degree was designed to be a low-residency program; students will need to attend the school’s Summer Studio as part of their graduation requirements. The curriculum is held through the school’s online learning management system; courses are either completed as asynchronous or synchronous sessions and all classes run in 16-week sessions. Students will be able to complete this degree in two years when they choose to pursue a full-time course of study. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Art and Global Diversity, Contemporary Approaches in Painting, and Globalization, Art, and Education.

8. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Arts with Art Education Concentration

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

Website

Tuition: $18,768

Working educators and art professionals who enroll at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania will find an accelerated online Master’s in Art Education that was designed to focus on theory and literature that informs the art world. Please note that this degree is currently only open to students with an undergraduate degree in art education and hold a license to teach art. This program is offered 100 percent online; there are no residency requirements. Students will complete all of their coursework online through the school’s virtual portal. Courses are delivered asynchronously or synchronously and in the traditional 16-week academic term format. This degree can be completed in two years when students choose to study full-time. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a research project, and the Culminating Experience in Art Education. Sample courses for this degree include Aesthetics and Art Criticism for Art Education, Current Issues in Art Education, and Critical Readings in Art Education.

7. Kent State University

Kent, Ohio

Online Master of Arts in Art Education

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

Website

Tuition: $17,828

Kent State University is home to an exceptional accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree that was designed for educators who are interested in graduate education. This is a 100 percent online course of study; there are no residency requirements. Students will take all of their courses online through the school’s learning management system. Courses are delivered as live or on-demand offerings and follow the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students will find that attending school full-time will enable them to graduate in just two years. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 34 credit hours of coursework and a thesis for graduation. Sample courses include Seminar in Art Education, Research Seminar in Art Education, and Hand Made Books and Art.

6. Lindenwood University

St. Charles, Missouri

Online Master of Arts in Art History

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

Website

Tuition: $17,280

The one-year online Master’s in Art History that is available Lindenwood University is perfect for working professionals who are interested in moving into advanced roles in the field. This degree is available as either a 100 percent online or hybrid program. Students will focus on the research and methodologies that inform the art history field and will provide them with a strong foundation of advanced art history. All courses for this degree are available through the school’s online learning management system. Courses may be delivered either asynchronously or synchronously and in eight-week courses. Students who study full-time will graduate within one year. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework and a final project or thesis. Sample courses for this degree include Research Methods, Research and Scholastic Writing, and Graduate Seminar in Art History.

5. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Online Master of Arts in Art

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

Website

Tuition: $15,675

The Northwestern State University of Louisiana is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree that is perfect for working art professionals who are interested in advancing their understanding of their field. It can be completed in two years or less. This is a low-residency course of study that comes with three concentrations: Design, Photography, or New Media. Students will be required to attend either two summer sessions or one traditional semester in order to meet the residency requirement for this degree. Students will then complete the remainder of their degree online through the school’s learning management system, where courses are delivered asynchronously or synchronously and in 16-week sessions. Students will be expected to complete 33 credit hours of coursework and a final portfolio. More information on this program and its requirements can be found by contacting the school’s eNSU Global Campus office.

4. The University of Nebraska

Kearney, Nebraska

Online Master of Arts in Education, Concentration in Art Education, Emphasis in Museum Education

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

Website

Tuition: $12,753

Students who are interested in an accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree that focuses on museum education will find exactly what they are looking for at the University of Nebraska. This degree has a stated focus in this area and provides students with a 100 percent online program that has no residency requirements. Students will note that this degree will not lead to licensure as an art educator. Courses for this degree can be found online through the school’s virtual portal; courses run in 16-week sessions and may be delivered either live or as an on-demand offering. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a research paper, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include History, Theories and Philosophies of Art Education, Non-Western Art History: Selected Topics, and Graduate Art History Survey for Art Educators.

3. The University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

Online Master of Arts in Teaching, Art Education

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

Website

Tuition: $12,111

The University of Central Florida provides students with the chance to complete an accelerated online Master’s in Art Education. It was designed specifically for art professionals who do not have an undergraduate degree in education; this program will lead to certification upon graduation. This degree was designed to be completed 100 percent online and through the school’s learning management system. Courses are offered asynchronously or synchronously and follow the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students who study full-time and take summer sessions will be able to complete this degree in less than two years. More information on this degree, its program requirements, and required courses can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

2. Academy of Art University

San Francisco, California

Online Master of Arts in Art History

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

Website

Tuition: $11,784

Academy of Art University is home to an exceptional accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree that is possible to earn in just two years. This degree was developed for in-service professionals and will prepare students for doctoral study once they have graduated. This program focuses on art history as well as art management. It is offered 100 percent online; there are no residency requirements. Students will complete their coursework online through the school’s learning management system. Courses are offered as live or on-demand sessions that run in 16-week sessions. Students who study full-time will graduate in just two years. This degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework and a graduate thesis. More information on this program can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

1. Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Online Master of Liberal Studies, Art History Concentration

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

Website

Tuition: $8,920

Fort Hays State University is home to an exceptional accelerated online Master’s in Art History. This degree was built to be of particular use to art professionals who work in museums, galleries, or elsewhere in the art world. This program is currently only open to students who have a degree in art history or art studio from an accredited undergraduate institution. This program was designed to be offered 100 percent online; there are no residency requirements. Students will participate in asynchronous or synchronous courses online that are offered through the school’s learning management system. Courses are held in the traditional 16-week academic term format, meaning that students can complete this degree in two years or less. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework and a culminating experience. Sample courses include Graduate Readings in Art History, Ancient Art History, and Medieval Art.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Accelerated Online Master’s in Art History Degree?

  • Art Teacher
  • Heritage Manager
  • Art Crime Investigator
  • Gallery Exhibitions Officer
  • Art Exhibit Installer
  • Conservator
  • Museum Curator
  • Art Historian
  • Gallery Curator
  • Archivist
  • Art Insurance Adjustor
  • Museum Exhibitions Officer
  • Art Investing
  • Architectural Conservator
  • State Arts Agency Director
  • Commercial Art Gallery Manager
  • Art Economist
  • Fine Arts Expert Witness

How Much Can You Earn in this Field?

The current average salary for a professional in the field of art history and education is $47,220. The salary range for the field is $33,183 to $78,140. This number includes positions in both fields as well as public and private sector workplaces.

What are the Various Disciplines of Art History?

Art history is a field that concerns itself with the historical context of various artworks. Their work is often informed by history, trends in political science and the sciences, literature, formal analysis, iconography, semiotics, and more. The job also requires that professionals work heavily on research, theories, and methodologies.

Professionals in this field will learn that there are sub-disciplines. These are categorized by the era of art that the professional focus on as well as the specific medium they specialize in. Specializations are common for both art historians and art educators because it provides them with the chance to have an in-depth understanding of one particular style and medium of art.

Art history has also found itself becoming more and more informed by the rise of technology. Photography, x-rays, and other tools not only help art historians place the time period from which an artwork was created but also makes it easier to catalog artworks for reproductions in the future.

Art history is just one of the many ways that society stays connected to the past. Through these masterpieces, future generations will learn about history, culture, and politics through the eyes of the men and women who were creators at the time. It is true that many professionals can step into the world of art history with a bachelor’s, but working adults interested in advancing their career should look into earning an accelerated online Master’s in Art History degree.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Art History Online.