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Why This Matters


    If you hope to gain an advanced career position in the field of art, you will need to have the right education. 74% of art directors hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 41,700 MORE OF YOU BY 2029

    More and more museums are looking for archivists, curators, museum technicians, and conservators. With an 11% job growth rate, it is projected that there will be about 41,700 new museum jobs created by 2029.


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average salary for archivists, curators, and museum workers was just over $52,000.

Our Research

We reviewed some of the best bachelor’s in art and art history programs in the United States. In addition to art history, some programs include specialties in visual culture, media and entertainment, and graphic design. For this list, we focused specifically on online programs.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredits programs that provide an exemplary education in visual arts and art history. Along with NASAD-accredited programs, this list includes programs that are regionally accredited by organizations such as the Higher Learning Commission and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Credits and degrees from regionally accredited schools are usually required for professional credentials and can be more easily transferred to other institutions.

  • 50 hours to write this article
  • 36 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 67 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Art and Art History Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Art and Art History Programs Badge
Intelligent Pick
Lindenwood University
Best Public Institution
Arizona State University
Best Focus on Media
University of Arizona
Most Affordable
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Best Private Institution
Prescott College
Best In-State Tuition Rate
SUNY Empire State College
Best Critical Thinking Skills
Academy of Art University
Best Multidisciplinary Focus
Penn State World Campus
Best Career Preparation
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

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What You Should Know About This Degree

History and art history programs often overlap in their course offerings. However, history degrees provide a broader overview of people, cultures, and societies. Another similar degree program is graphic design. This program is more specific than art history and focuses on visuals found in magazines, books, and advertisements.

An accreditation that art students should look out for is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, which is recognized across the United States.

With an 11% job growth rate projected for the next decade, the job outlook for museum workers is above average. By 2029, there will be an estimated 16,500 jobs for museum technicians and conservators.

For more advanced career positions, you will need to obtain a master’s degree. However, there are many certificates available for art history majors who wish to narrow their focus and differentiate themselves from other art workers. These include certificates in museum studies, fine arts, and restoration and conservation.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in art and art history programs:

  • What licensing or certifications are required? The majority of careers available for art and art history majors do not require any certifications or licenses. However, earning certifications in a specialty such as museum work or graphic design can be helpful. You will also need a teaching license if you want to work as a professor or art teacher.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? When enrolling in an online course, students can typically choose between synchronous and asynchronous options. Asynchronous courses let students access coursework at times that are convenient to them, while synchronous courses have set class times.

When you research programs, it is important to keep track of application deadlines, qualification requirements, and submission materials. You should also consider the costs associated with higher education. Financial aid opportunities include scholarships, assistantships, and tuition benefits awarded by employers.

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