Art museums are full of more than just masterpieces; they tell epic stories of history throughout the ages. Become an expert in all things art with an Online Master’s in Art & Art History.

Did you know that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting while he was alive? Or that Claude Monet almost became a grocer instead of a painter? Or did you know that Pablo Picasso’s famous painting, Guernica, was a direct statement on the horrors of the Spanish Civil War?

Art is so much more than just a picture on a wall. Art inspires, tells stories, teaches history, and evokes emotion. But sometimes we need art experts to help us understand the deeper meanings behind the picture. An online Master’s in Art History will make you that expert!

What is an Online Master’s in Art & Art History degree?

An online Master’s in Art & Art History is a versatile and engaging degree that will take you deep into the art world. You’ll cover the foundations of visual media—everything from color theory to art criticism.

This degree takes you beyond a painting; you’ll study the historical context that surrounded famous pieces of art. You’ll ask deeper questions of meaning, inspiration, emotion, and more. You’ll become a connoisseur of all things art, culture, and history.

Beyond being the most interesting person at a dinner party (for real, though), you can make a rewarding and vibrant career out of an online Master’s in Art History. Here are four core career areas:

  • Museum Curator / Educator
  • Art Dealer
  • Fine Artist
  • Art Historian

How much can you earn with an Online Master’s in Art & Art History?

Since your career could take on a number of different forms with an online Master in Art & Art History, let’s take a look at what kind of annual salaries you can anticipate with each job:

  • Museum Curator / Educator: $53,000
  • Art Dealer: $47,000
  • Fine Artist: $49,000
  • Art Historian: $61,000

You’ll notice quite a range in the average salaries for these careers. These, of course, are just the average salaries. So depending on where you find work, these ranges could be much higher. Good news for you art nerds out there: jobs in this field are expected to rise by around 14 percent in the coming years.

What is required for an Online Master’s in Art & Art History degree?

By earning an online Master’s in Art History, you’re setting yourself apart from the flock as being an expert in your field. That means you’ll be required to dig a little deeper. To qualify for most of these programs, you’ll need to come with a background in Art, Art History, or Visual Media.

Most of the programs on this list require around 30-35 total credits to complete the degree. Within that you might be asked to specialize in a time period (Medieval Art, Modernism, etc.). Some programs also include a language requirement (like French or German) in order to fully immerse yourself in the heart of art history.

What are the Best Online Master’s in Art & Art History degrees?

One of the five programs on this list might be just the ticket for a new career, a job promotion, or just a new direction in life! OSR has selected the 5 Best Online Master’s in Art & Art History degrees. They stand out most notably for their flexible delivery method—online learning. But all of these programs are leaders in the field.

The OSR methodology brings together all the crucial data: school and program reputation, student retention, overall tuition and fees, and more. We’ve included a short description of each program, as well as some useful pros and cons. The world of art needs your close eye—get going!

  1. Fort Hays State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $17,831/$27,654
    Acceptance65
    Earnings Potential59
    Online Presence4
    Online Program Quality74
    Retention75
    Student Satisfaction79
    Reputation93
    Pros
    • Potential jobs as museum curator, art critic, and more
    • No additional fees beyond admission
    • Flat-rate online tuition regardless of residency
    Cons
    • 12 undergraduate credits in Art History required
    • One on-campus class (Concepts of Art)
    • Comprehensive exam required to graduate
    100%OSR Score

    A stand-out in online master’s programs, Fort Hays State University lands the No. 1 spot on our list for its Master in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Art History. The degree covers 31 total credits. Students are able to concentrate in specific time periods like Medieval Art or 20th Century Art.

  2. Lindenwood University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $31,460/$31,460
    Acceptance75
    Earnings Potential53
    Online Presence24
    Online Program Quality48
    Retention73
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation97
    Pros
    • Fast-track option to finish degree in 1 year
    • Option to complete thesis or non-thesis degree
    • Combined online and classroom experiences
    Cons
    • Steep qualifications for fast-track option
    • Foreign language requirement (French or German)
    • Comprehensive exam required to graduate
    98%OSR Score

    Lindenwood University delivers a unique online Master of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture. Students can also complete this 36-hour curriculum as a hybrid program. Qualified students can be considered for the one-year fast-track program, which begins in the summer term.

  3. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $22,075/$32,863
    Acceptance94
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence9
    Online Program Quality69
    Retention40
    Student Satisfaction57
    Reputation99
    Pros
    • Focus areas in Design, Photography, and New Media
    • Discounted tuition above 9 credits per term
    • No out-of-state fees for online students
    Cons
    • Not all courses can be completed online
    • $20 application fee
    • Two 3-week summer residencies required
    94%OSR Score

    Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers an online MA in Fine & Graphic Arts via its eNSU Global Campus. Out of the 33 total credit requirements, 27 credits can be completed online. The rest are completed through summer residency sessions.

  4. Azusa Pacific University College

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,400/$24,400
    Acceptance74
    Earnings Potential64
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality83
    Retention87
    Student Satisfaction85
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • 2-week online orientation included
    • APU is a Yellow Ribbon University
    • Thesis-based program that is research-focused
    Cons
    • Curriculum approaches art from a religious standpoint
    • Higher base tuition rate than some ($645/credit)
    • Modern foreign language requirement
    87%OSR Score

    You’ll earn an online MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism at Azusa Pacific. This curriculum encapsulates 12 engaged courses, all deliverable online. Even by taking just one class at a time, students can finish the program in 17 to 24 months.

  5. University of Nebraska at Kearney

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $22,586/$28,486
    Acceptance81
    Earnings Potential63
    Online Presence3
    Online Program Quality79
    Retention83
    Student Satisfaction72
    Reputation92
    Pros
    • Curriculum designed specifically for a career path
    • 18 credits set aside for electives and specializations
    • Degree is fully online – no residencies required
    Cons
    • Degree doesn’t include teaching certification
    • Undergraduate background must be in visual arts
    • Higher out-of-state per credit tuition fees
    86%OSR Score

    UNK takes a slightly different approach with its online Master of Arts in Education, with an emphasis in Museum Education. This is a fully online degree that covers 36 credit hours. Graduates will become experts in engaging K-12 students in museum exploration and education.