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Art History

Art historians have the power to create the context in which future generations view art. Great art historians possess the unique ability to bring the artist of the past alive and make their work relevant in today's world. Academy of Art University's Art History program is a one-of-a-kind experience, blending academic inquiry and practice with one of the most extensive studio art and design programs in the world. Throughout this comprehensive program, you will discover the power of art and be able to make a lasting contribution to the cultural landscape.

Academy of Art University celebrates the artistic traditions of the past and encourages emerging artists and scholars to situate themselves in this cultural continuum. Students completing their Art History degree at Academy of Art University will have the opportunity to develop their studio practice while gaining an in-depth knowledge of art history. Studio classes make up approximately half of the major's curriculum and students will produce a portfolio of work within a specialized area of fine art as well as a written senior thesis.

Master of Arts (MA)

The Master of Arts (M.A.) program in Art History is a 36-unit program intended to give the student a broad general knowledge of Western Art History, under the tutelage of experienced and dedicated faculty. A student who has achieved a distinguished record in this M.A. program should be prepared for acceptance into a doctoral program in Art History. This program will also prepare those who do not intend to pursue a doctoral degree, but rather strive for careers in fields such as gallery and museum management, visual technology, arts administration, education, post-secondary teaching, scholarly research and writing, curating and restoration, and art and antique connoisseurship.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Rooted in practical skills and professional knowledge, the BFA degree provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Art History. The general education program (Liberal Arts) supports major coursework by promoting the breadth of knowledge, critical thinking and communications skills necessary to analyze issues from multiple perspectives. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Art History.

Career Opportunities


  • Artist Representative
  • Appraiser
  • Art Museum Program Assistant
  • Collection Manager
  • College/University Art History Instructor*
  • Consultant
  • Corporate Curator
  • Curatorial Assistant
  • Fine Art Auctioneer
  • Gallery Curator
  • Historical Preservationist
  • Independent Scholar
  • Museum Curator*
  • Private Collection Curator
  • Public Art Curator
  • Researcher
  • Teacher in Public or Private School**
  • Visual Resources Curator
  • Writer

* After earning a Master's degree or higher
**After earning a teaching Credential

Professional Opportunities


As an Art History student, you will begin your professional career on day one. Starting with first semester class projects, you will begin developing both classical art skills and effective written and oral communication skills.

Students completing the BFA in Art History at Academy of Art University have the opportunity to develop their studio practice while simultaneously gaining an in-depth knowledge of art history. Studio classes make up approximately half of the major curriculum and students will produce a portfolio of work within a specialized area of fine art as well as a senior thesis. Students will develop strong writing, research, analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

As they develop their talents and unique styles, students will have many opportunities to network with professionals in the industry and begin their professional futures.

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