10 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Art & Art History in 2023

Best Grad Schools with Online Master's in Art & Art History - featured image

A Master of Art and Art History program prepares graduate students for careers in museums, fine arts, education, and galleries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a majority of these arts fields have significant growth by 2026. Museum curators, for example, are projected to increase by 13% in that same year.

In a Master’s in Art education, whether it’s Fine Arts or Art History, graduate students will gain a deeper understanding surrounding the fine art process and techniques and the historical circumstances of the arts. Depending on the student’s focus area, they can enroll in studio classes and make projects for a Master’s in Fine Arts show or complete Art History seminars toward their master’s thesis.

Students in art and history can take advantage of internship opportunities like working in galleries or museums or networking with their co-fine artists and scholars.

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When thinking about pursuing an art and art history graduate degree, students must weigh their options of an online master’s in art history versus an on-campus art education program. Students who just completed their bachelor’s degree can move directly to an on-campus graduate school. However, for those who cannot relocate because of professional and family obligations, the flexibility of an online master’s degree in art history is worth trying.

Online master’s in art history programs generally vary from one school to the next. Plus, the curricula specifics largely depend upon the student’s academic concentration. Concentrations include modern and contemporary art history, Renaissance art history, and specific disciplines like sculpture and photography.

Most Arts degree master’s take 1-2 years to complete. Together with traditional coursework, students in an online fine arts program can join in graduate seminars or work on projects with their instructors and cohorts.


If you want to enroll in a master’s program in art and art history, there are several factors to take into consideration, like educational quality and cost. Those with specific goals must also delve further into internship options, specializations, and graduate placement records.

  • Delivered as an online Master’s in Art History online or hybrid program, featuring rigorous coursework encompassing ancient, modern, and contemporary art,
  • Offers internship opportunities and specializations, including the common Museum Education component for students pursuing a museum curator career,
  • Offers financial assistance to qualified graduate students of Art History, including scholarships, grants, fellowships, and teaching or research assistantships as constitute tuition waivers, depending on the master’s degree program,
  • Obtained accreditation from academic agencies that set the academic standards of teaching and learning in Art History online programs,
  • Recognized by Art History industry associations that promote the arts.

The 10 Best Online Master’s in Art with a Concentration in Art and Art History Program

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, CA

Master’s in Art in Modern and Contemporary Art History

The MA in Art in Modern and Contemporary Art at Azusa Pacific University is an online program that strongly focuses on modern and contemporary art history. Art history students can take advantage of the program’s extensive curriculum that introduces them to present scholarship of modern and contemporary art.

This will also provide them with a deeper understanding of research practices and various art historical methods while they build their skills in critical thinking, research, visual analysis, and verbal and written communication.

  • This art university introduces students to advanced approaches to studying modern art so they can have a broader understanding of modern art history and its wide-ranging applications.
  • The online format of this art history degree offers students the convenience and flexibility of having their classes where and when it works best for them. Thru this online master of arts, students can enjoy courses designed particularly for them in a way where they can interact with their peers and professors conveniently, creating a rich and harmonious learning community.
  • This art history online program is offered asynchronously. Students can access their courses 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Although students are not required to attend a specific timeframe, it’s expected of them to spend ideally 22 hours each week for a 3-unit course delivered on an 8-week term. That way, they can complete their assignments and still join class discussions.
  • This 36-unit online learning master’s in arts degree has gained the approval of the National Association of Schools of Art &Design.

Azusa Pacific University is WASC Senior College and University Commission-accredited.

Standout Features of the Azusa Pacific University Master’s in Art in Modern and Contemporary Art History:

This program provides students with a deeper understanding of research practices and various art historical methods while they build their skills in critical thinking, research, visual analysis, and verbal and written communication.

Did You Know?

Since the founding of Azusa Pacific University in 1899, it has remained committed to excellence in higher education based on faith and Four Cornerstones– Christ, Community, Scholarship, and Service– permeating every aspect of the university.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA

Master of Arts in Art

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts offers a Master of Arts in Art through any of their two program formats: the face-to-face and on-campus program that provides financial aid opportunities and assistantships, and the low-residency online program that allows working professionals and students the chance to earn their master’s in art degrees with limited face-to-face, on-campus contact.

  • This program provides professional skills for budding artists, performers, or educators, and a solid background in arts education.
  • This graduate degree serves media communities and art students through performance, education, collaboration, and communication while giving a demanding yet nurturing environment of artistic study.
  • NSU’s 33-credit online degree in art studies various artistic pieces and the historical factors that shape them. Students will focus on different areas like painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, ceramics, graphic design, and illustration.
  • Students in art programs are required to complete a graduate seminar, research courses, a comprehensive exam, and a thesis exhibition.
  • This master’s of arts in history requires students for an on-campus residency for one semester or two summer internships. These summer residences usually last for three weeks.
  • Both the bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in Art at Northwestern State University in Louisiana are National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASD)-accredited.

The Northwestern State University of Louisiana is Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges-accredited.

Standout Features of Northwestern State University’s Masters of Art in Art:

Online students will not only study ancient art but also enjoy easy access to career resources, including videos on interviews and professional wardrobes, mental wellness assistance, and 24-hour crisis assistance.

Did You Know?

Northwestern University has the country’s biggest student-run musical, a tradition that started when the school’s swim club needed to raise money in 1940.

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

Hays, KS

Master of Liberal Arts Studies with an Art History Concentration

The MLS with an Art History Concentration at Fort Hays State University builds presentation and research skills and provides students with knowledge of different artistic eras, including medieval, ancient art, baroque, and twentieth-century art.

  • This Art History online program can be completed online in just two years. Students should maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • After the completed online program, students can have art history careers like art directors, postsecondary educators, studio art specialists, and critics.
  • This concentration degree in art history is 31 credit hours and requires graduate students to take comprehensive assessments: one on liberal arts core classes, and the other on art history.
  • This art university provides online resources like the liberal arts handbook (offering studying and test-taking tips, plus graduation preparation), and a writing style guide.
  • To apply for FHSU’s art history program, the applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree in art history or studio art, and must also have 12 undergraduate credits, plus a writing sample in the field.
  • Graduate students are provided access to the library’s digital resources. They can take advantage of the school’s online tutoring through Smarthinking.

Fort Hays State University is Higher Learning Commission-recognized.

Standout Features of Fort Hays State University’s Master of Liberal Arts Studies with an Art History Concentration:

This art university provides online resources like the liberal arts handbook (offering studying and test-taking tips, plus graduation preparation), and a writing style guide.

Did You Know?

Fort Hayes State University was originally located on the ground of Fort Hays, a 19th-century frontier military outpost.

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University

St. Charles, MO

Master of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture

Lindenwood University’s Master of Arts degree in Art History and Visual Culture is offered online or in a hybrid format. This top-ranked, state-of-the-art program provides art history majors with a broad foundation and exploration of the visual arts and culture in different eras.

  • This art history online program will study the techniques and meaning behind a masterpiece. Graduate students learn about conducting research and presenting their findings in person or on paper as art historians.
  • This online master’s in art requires students to complete 36 credits which they can earn through research courses, graduate seminars, art history electives, and a required project or thesis.
  • Students can complete this online graduate degree in just two weeks. The fast-track option shortens the program to a year. However, only students holding a related bachelor’s degree and a 3.5 GPA is qualified to take the fast-track option.
  • This hybrid and online MA offers students the flexibility that allows them to combine traditional classroom education with online courses in a schedule that works for them.

Lindenwood University is HLC-approved.

Standout Features of Lindenwood University’s Master of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture:

All the online graduate programs at Lindenwood University, including the Master of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture, provide students with career assistance through the school’s various learning apps, including Focus 2, Handshake, and Resumé Maker. All these can help students identify their most suitable professions, improve application documents, or find open positions as museum workers, art teachers, visual art specialists, and more.

Did You Know?

Lindenwood University got its name because it is nestled in a 280-acre land of numerous Linden trees.

Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA

Master of Arts in Art History

The art history online program at the Academy of Art University San Francisco is designed to provide students with a more advanced knowledge of Western art history. This program has specializations in medieval art, renaissance art, 18th and 19th-century art, baroque art, and pre-war modern art.

  • Online master’s programs like the one offered at the Academy of Art University are paired with six credits of classes in a fine art studio so that students become familiar with the usual methods of fine art production like sculpture, printmaking, or painting.
  • By collaborating fine art studies and art history, students will gain a new perspective through which art theory and its historical course are uniquely appreciated and evaluated.

The Academy of Art University is WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)-accredited.

Standout Features of the Academy of the Art University’s Master of Arts in Art History:

This online degree requires students to write an MA thesis with the help of art history faculty members. The thesis is written based on the student’s chosen art historical specialization showing their independent scholarly research.

Did You Know?

The Academy of Art University offers a hands-on and no-nonsense curriculum that is handled by some of today’s greatest people working in the innovative and creative industries.

George Washington University

George Washington University - Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Washington, DC

Master of Arts in Art History

The MA in Art History degree at George Washington University is offered at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. This online Master of Arts program is designed to give students the unique opportunity to study the arts.

  • This program will prepare future art history graduates on how they can use historical and visual analyses in artworks. They will also learn how to incorporate current and relevant methodological and theoretical research methods.
  • Students in this online master’s in art in art history get to take advantage of the school’s proximity to many galleries and museums. This means that the exhibitions and collections of some of the world’s most notable art institutions serve as the backbone of student study and coursework.
  • This art history curriculum not only covers a wide area of art history, but also focuses on other fields of arts like South Asian, American, contemporary, modern, Islamic, or Renaissance Art.
  • George Washington University is committed to growing and nurturing an inclusive and diverse scholarly community that is crucial for insight, innovation, and progress.
  • This rigorous art history program master’s degree puts special focus on developing each student’s writing and research skills, and critical analysis.
  • This art education master’s degree is a terminal degree for many students in preparation for art education careers or curatorial jobs in museums and galleries. For some, this is in preparation for a Ph.D. program elsewhere.
  • This art history degree is 36 credit hours of coursework that covers a vast range of geographic regions and topics. In the first semester, art students need to complete the art historiography seminar.
  • Students may opt to take reading/language comprehension exams in Dutch, Arabic, German, Italian, Hindi, Persian, Latin, Spanish, or Portuguese.

George Washington University is Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredited.

Standout Features of George Washington University’s Master of Arts in Art History:

In this art history online program, candidates have the option to concentrate on Museum Education. Requirements are the same as those for the Art History concentration students, only, the course includes 6 credits of museum internship.

Did You Know?

On March 30, 1981, on his attempted murder, President Ronald Regan was brought to GWU’s medical center where the doctors saved him by removing a bullet wedged closely to his heart.

University of Florida

University of Florida - Online Masters of Arts in Art Education

Gainesville, FL

Master of Arts in Art Education

The University of Florida offers an online Master of Arts in Art Education designed for students who want to dedicate their careers to arts and art education.

  • This online master’s in art in art education engages students in art education practice and theory, contemporary art, and studio art.
  • Through this online master in art, students experience a meaningful interaction between each other and the school’s world-class faculty.
  • Students will not only infuse their lectures into art education but also into their studio art practice. They are expected to excel as 21st-century cultural workers and art educators, advance their careers, engage their artistic practice, expand their boundaries of the field, and assume leadership roles.
  • UF is world-renowned for its high-caliber learning and is committed to providing the same level of academic quality to its distance learners. Thru this, the School of Art and Art History of the University of Florida created an online master’s that offer working professional the chance to earn top-quality graduate education from a top university while keeping a good work-life balance.

The University of Florida is SACSCOC-approved.

Standout Features of the University of Florida’s Master of Arts in Art Education:

This online master’s in art will develop the student’s understanding of art history and the constant evolution of art education. This will also equip them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to meet the various needs of diverse communities and students in today’s changing world.

Did You Know?

The University of Florida collaborates with Oak Hammock, a retirement community, where students are allowed to work, complete their internships, and find mentors.

University of Northern Iowa

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA

Master of Arts in Art Education

The University of Iowa offers an online Master of Arts in Art education designed to provide students with an extensive historical, interdisciplinary, and contemporary orientation to the practice and study of art education.

  • This 30-credit online program is delivered entirely online and is only 5 semesters long.
  • It is handled by respected faculty in the areas of Art History, Art Education, and Studio Art. The curriculum is aligned with student activities in classroom education and experiences.
  • Students will not only focus on art theory but also has courses that help to establish stronger links between practice and theory in art education.

The University of Northern Iowa is HLC-approved.

Standout Features of the University of Iowa’s Master of Art in Art Education:

All the online programs at the University of Northern Iowa are provided with a dedicated Enrollment Contact and Program Coordinator that will assist them with their class registration, course sequence navigation, the billing process, graduation preparation, and many more.

Did You Know?

The University of Northern Iowa had four different names: Iowa State Normal School when it was founded in 1876, then became Iowa State Teachers College in 1909, later State College of Iowa in 1961, and finally the University of Northern Iowa in 1976.

Savannah College of Art and Design


Savannah, GA

Masters in Art in Art History

Savannah College of Arts and Design offers a master’s in art in art history where students are trained to thrive in an area that needs acute technical skills, a knack for working with others, and a fresh and creative vision.

  • This program emphasizes interpretation, critical analysis of artifacts and arts, and research in art history.
  • The courses are complemented with exclusive opportunities to study and have internships at breathtaking university galleries and museums around the world.

Savannah College of Art and Design is SACSCOC-approved. It also earned the nod of other professional and regional accrediting bodies.

Standout Features of the Savannah College of Art and Design – Master’s in Art in Art History:

All students in art history at Savannah College of Art and Design will benefit from symposia, events, and classroom visits with celebrated art luminaries.

Did You Know?

SCAD has 3 campuses, and all enrolled students can enjoy all of these three– one in Savannah, Georgia, one in Atlanta, Georgia, and the third in Lacoste, France. All campuses offer most academic programs, thus making it possible for students to move between campuses throughout their time at SCAD. However, this does not apply to the performing arts degree, which is available only in Savannah, and sculpture, which is in Atlanta.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University - Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Tempe, AZ

Masters of Arts in Art History

The Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts School of Art at Arizona State University will teach graduate students about art history and museum practices from world-class faculty while exploring the latest in cultural industries.

  • This comprehensive degree program will train students to engage in visual art in multiple ways. Thru its diverse curriculum, these foster a critical understanding of production, aesthetics, consumption of art, and patronage.
  • The school has nine internationally recognized faculty members that offer classes covering different time periods, geographies, and cultures, using different methodologies and approaches.
  • This online program stresses intersections between borders, disciplines, points of mediation, margins, and technological developments throughout art history.

Arizona State University is recognized by the HLC.

Standout Features of Arizona State University’s Master of Arts in Art History:

ASU’s Master of Arts in Art History also offers study in the areas of digital art, creative and performing arts, digital technology, fine and graphic arts, art criticism in political and social contexts, and the theories and histories of visual culture and the art world as a whole.

Master’s Degree in Art History Careers

Earning the best online master’s programs in art history expands your knowledge and specializes in your skill sets for careers in different areas, such as education, fine arts, and history.

After completing master’s in art history degrees, art history graduates, can apply for jobs in galleries, museums, universities, and nonprofits. There are several roles in the field of art history, including the following:

Museum Curators

Whether it’s modern art history or international art history, online programs in art history make good backgrounds for careers as museum curators. These professionals work for art galleries, museums, libraries, and archives.

They coordinate exhibits or arrange for the security of objects in their facility’s possessions. These professionals may also take responsibility for record-keeping duties by properly cataloging objects and displaying them based on their historically accurate descriptions. They also handle exhibition inquiries on behalf of the facility they’re working at and manage loaned collections.

Art Managers

Art managers have an extensive background in art history. These professionals are the ones responsible for overseeing art project workflows that appear in different types of media like advertisements, books, magazines, films, and television commercials. They are usually seen working for media companies, marketing agencies, graphic design firms, art galleries, and publishing organizations.

Art managers have a lot of responsibilities, like conducting research, defining project goals, sourcing artistic talent, and analyzing markets. They also manage artistic team members during the whole duration of a project.


People with master’s in art history degrees make good historians. These professionals work for academic institutions to perfect research works on various fields of interest, including specific movements or events throughout history. They also gather information from different sources like documents, archival objects, or books.

Historians who hold an art history concentration also study artwork in determining whether there is cultural significance or finding in journal articles, books, or reports.

Best Grad Schools with Online Master's in Art & Art History - fact

Key Takeaways

  • Master programs in Art History will teach about the various ears in art history like the neoclassicist and baroque periods. This also explores how art has significantly changed over time in terms of techniques and tools.
  • Many schools today use online platforms in delivering their programs. This is to allow busy students and working professionals to interact with their peers and study with their instructors conveniently.
  • The Labor Statistics Bureau is projecting that the employment of curators, archivists, and museum workers will increase by 19%.

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor