Best Online Art and Art History Bachelor's Degree Programs 2024

Table of Contents

Top Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Art and Art History 2024

Career.Guide has utilized the comprehensive data available from the College Scorecard API to rank the top schools for the best online bachelor's degree programs in art and art history for 2024. Our methodology includes a weighted analysis of key performance metrics such as graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, average financial aid awards, and post-graduation earnings potential. We prioritize institutions demonstrating academic excellence and robust student support services. This data-driven approach ensures our rankings reflect the true value these programs offer to students in both educational and career-oriented outcomes.

School Name
Cost Per Credit
1Arizona State University$541 per creditHigher Learning Commission
2Penn State World Campus$617 per creditMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
3University of Massachusetts Lowell$380 per creditNew England Commission of Higher Education
4University of Arizona$500 per creditHigher Learning Commission
5SUNY Empire State CollegeIn-State: $295 per credit; | Out-of-State: $353 per creditMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
6Lindenwood University$450 per creditHigher Learning Commission
7Mansfield University of PennsylvaniaResident: $322 - $418 per credit; | Non-Resident: $482 per creditMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
8Prescott College$498 per creditHigher Learning Commission
9Academy of Art University$1,011 per creditNational Association of Schools of Art and Design

Why Choose an Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History?

Selecting the right educational path is crucial for anyone with a passion for art and a desire to delve into its historical context. An online Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History stands out as a flexible, comprehensive, and contemporary way to gain a formal education in this creative domain. Here are several compelling reasons why students might opt for an online program in Art and Art History:
  • Flexibility and Convenience: Online programs offer unparalleled flexibility, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional commitments. This is particularly beneficial for those who require a non-traditional approach to education due to work schedules, family responsibilities, or geographical constraints.
  • Access to Diverse Perspectives: Virtual classrooms connect students with peers and instructors from around the globe, offering a rich exchange of artistic perspectives and cultural insights. This diversity can enhance one’s understanding of art history and its global significance.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Often more affordable than traditional on-campus programs, online degrees can reduce or eliminate expenses related to commuting, housing, and other campus-based fees. Additionally, students can maintain employment while studying, which can help offset tuition costs.
  • Technologically Enhanced Learning: Online art and art history programs harness cutting-edge technology to deliver course content, facilitate discussions, and showcase digital archives or virtual museum tours. This integration of technology prepares students for contemporary practices in the art world.
  • Personalized Pacing: Many online programs offer asynchronous classes, allowing students to engage with materials at their own pace. This personalized approach can be particularly advantageous when studying complex artistic concepts or historical periods.
  • Development of Digital Competencies: Engaging with art and history through online platforms helps students develop digital skills that are increasingly important in today's job market. Proficiency in digital tools and online research is valuable for careers in museums, galleries, education, and beyond.
  • Wide Range of Specializations: Online programs often provide a variety of specializations within art and art history, enabling students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals. Specializations may include modern art, curatorial studies, museum education, or conservation science.
  • Interactive Learning Environments: Through discussion forums, video conferencing, and collaborative projects, students engage in interactive learning experiences that can rival those found in traditional classroom settings.
  • Expert Instruction: Online programs are typically led by experienced faculty members who are experts in their fields. These instructors bring their specialized knowledge directly to the virtual classroom, often incorporating current research and contemporary issues into the curriculum.
  • Career Advancement Opportunities: Graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History can open doors to various career paths within the art sector. Whether aiming for roles in gallery management, education, conservation, or art criticism, the degree equips students with a solid foundation for professional growth.
By choosing an online Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History, students can benefit from a modern education platform that respects their lifestyle choices while providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the visual arts and their historical contexts.

Types of Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History Programs

When exploring online bachelor's degree options in art and art history, students will find a variety of programs tailored to diverse interests and career paths. These programs cater to the need for flexibility while maintaining rigorous academic standards. Understanding the types of online bachelor's degree programs available can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your aspirations in the field of art.
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History: A BA in Art History focuses on the study of visual arts within a historical and cultural context. It typically includes a broad curriculum covering various periods, movements, and regions, from ancient to contemporary art. This program is ideal for students interested in careers in museums, galleries, or education.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art: The BFA in Studio Art is designed for those who wish to become practicing artists. It emphasizes hands-on studio practice in disciplines such as painting, sculpture, photography, or digital media. BFA programs often require a portfolio for admission and culminate in a senior project or exhibition.
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Visual Arts: This program combines elements of art history with practical studio experiences. Students will have the opportunity to develop their artistic skills while also gaining insights into the theory and criticism behind art. The BA in Visual Arts is suitable for individuals seeking a well-rounded education in the arts.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Art Education: For those interested in teaching, a BS in Art Education provides the necessary training to become certified art teachers at various educational levels. The curriculum includes pedagogy, curriculum development, and student teaching internships alongside art and art history coursework.
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Digital Media: Focused on contemporary practices, these programs explore the intersection of art, technology, and media. Students learn about digital content creation, including animation, video game design, web design, and interactive media.
Each program type has distinct requirements and outcomes, but they all share a commitment to providing an engaging online learning environment. Through virtual classrooms and digital resources, students can connect with instructors and peers, participate in discussions, and access rich multimedia content that enhances their understanding of art and its historical significance. With careful consideration of their interests and career goals, students can select a program that offers the knowledge and skills needed for success within the expansive field of art and art history.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History Admission Requirements and Application Process

Navigating the admission requirements and application process for an Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History can seem daunting at first, but understanding what you'll need can simplify the journey. Universities across the United States have set specific criteria to evaluate prospective students' readiness and commitment to pursuing a degree in this field.

Standard Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent: Applicants typically need to have completed high school or possess a GED. Proof of graduation or equivalent certification is necessary.
  • Minimum GPA: Many programs require a minimum high school GPA, often around 2.0-3.0 on a 4.0 scale, although more competitive programs might demand higher GPAs.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Some institutions may ask for SAT or ACT scores, though this requirement is becoming less common. Always check if the program you're interested in is test-optional.
  • English Proficiency: For non-native English speakers, proof of English proficiency through tests like TOEFL or IELTS may be required.
  • Art Portfolio: Depending on the program's focus, you may need to submit a portfolio of your artwork. This showcases your talent and commitment to the field of art and art history.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters from educators or professionals who can attest to your abilities and work ethic are often part of the application package.
  • Personal Statement: A written statement that reflects your interest in art and art history and your reasons for pursuing this degree online might be necessary to provide insight into your passion and goals.

The Application Process

The application process for an online bachelor's degree in art and art history involves several steps that require attention to detail and timely submission of materials.

Researching Programs

Before applying, it's crucial to thoroughly research programs to find one that aligns with your academic interests and career goals. Consider factors such as curriculum, faculty expertise, accreditation, and the technological platform used for course delivery.

Gathering Required Documents

Collect all necessary documentation well in advance of the application deadline. This includes your high school transcripts, test scores (if applicable), letters of recommendation, your art portfolio, and any other materials specified by the program.

Filling Out the Application Form

Complete the online application form with care. Ensure that all personal information is accurate and that you've responded to all questions thoroughly.

Writing Your Personal Statement

Take time to craft a compelling personal statement. It should not only highlight your achievements but also demonstrate your unique perspective and how an online bachelor's degree in art and art history will help you achieve your objectives.

Submitting Your Portfolio

If required, submit a well-organized portfolio according to the program's guidelines. Include pieces that represent a range of skills and media, and provide context or descriptions as needed.

Application Review and Follow-Up

Once you've submitted your application, monitor its status regularly. Some programs may have additional steps such as interviews or further assessments. Be proactive in following up with admissions if needed.

Tips for a Successful Application

  • Start Early: Begin the process early to give yourself plenty of time for each step, especially gathering documents and creating your portfolio.
  • Proofread: Carefully proofread all materials before submission to avoid errors that could detract from your application's professionalism.
  • Seek Feedback: Ask mentors or peers to review your personal statement and portfolio to gain valuable feedback.
  • Contact Admissions Counselors: Don't hesitate to reach out to admissions counselors with questions about the process or requirements; they are there to help you.
  • Review Deadlines: Keep track of all relevant deadlines to ensure you submit everything on time.
By understanding the admission requirements and preparing thoroughly for the application process, prospective students can approach their applications for an Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History with confidence and clarity.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History Program Curriculum and Specializations

When pursuing an online Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History, students can expect a curriculum that is both comprehensive and flexible, allowing for personal exploration within the field. The program typically encompasses core subjects related to both practical artistic skills and historical knowledge, ensuring a well-rounded education.

Fundamental Core Courses

  • Introduction to Art Techniques: This foundational course covers various mediums and techniques in the visual arts, providing students with the opportunity to develop their skills in drawing, painting, sculpture, and digital art forms.
  • Art History Survey: From prehistoric times to contemporary works, this course offers a chronological study of major developments, styles, and movements in art history.
  • Art Criticism and Theory: Students learn to analyze and interpret artworks, understanding the different theoretical approaches that have shaped art criticism over time.
  • Visual Culture: This course explores the influence of visual media on society and culture, examining how images shape our perceptions of the world around us.

Specialized Electives and Concentrations

Many programs offer specializations or electives that allow students to focus on a particular area of interest within the art and art history field. These might include:
  • Modern and Contemporary Art: A deep dive into the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, examining key artists, movements, and the cultural contexts in which they worked.
  • Museum Studies: A practical approach to the field of curating and museum management, including topics such as exhibition design, collection preservation, and educational programming.
  • Digital Media: Focusing on new technologies in art-making, this concentration covers digital illustration, animation, and interactive media design.
  • Cultural Heritage and Conservation: For those interested in preservation, this specialization looks at methods of conserving artworks and artifacts as well as issues surrounding cultural heritage.

Capstone Projects and Research Opportunities

In many online bachelor's programs in Art and Art History, students are required to complete a capstone project or participate in research:
  • Senior Thesis: A substantial research paper on a topic of choice that demonstrates the student's ability to synthesize historical knowledge with critical analysis.
  • Portfolio Development: Students compile a professional portfolio of their artistic work, which is essential for those planning to pursue careers as practicing artists.
  • Internship Experience: Some programs offer or require internships with galleries, museums, or other cultural institutions to provide practical experience in the field.

Cross-Disciplinary Opportunities

To foster a broader educational experience, online art and art history programs may also include cross-disciplinary courses:
  • Art and Technology: Exploring the intersection between artistic expression and technological innovation.
  • Art Therapy: Introducing concepts of using art for therapeutic purposes and its applications in mental health treatment.
  • Business of Art: Providing knowledge on marketing, selling, and managing art as a business for those looking to enter the commercial side of the art world.
The curriculum structure of an online Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History is designed to cater to a range of interests while maintaining academic rigor. It aims to equip students with critical thinking skills, aesthetic judgment, and the ability to place works of art within their historical context. Whether aspiring to become professional artists, curators, educators, or researchers in the field of art history, students will find that these programs offer diverse pathways tailored to their future career goals.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History Accreditation and Quality of Online Programs

Ensuring the quality of your educational experience is paramount when selecting an online Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History. Accreditation stands as a benchmark for measuring the quality of an educational program. Here's what prospective students should know about accreditation and the overall quality of online Art and Art History programs:

Understanding Accreditation for Online Art Degrees

Accreditation is a process by which independent agencies evaluate the quality and standards of educational programs. For Art and Art History degrees, these are some key points to consider:
  • Regional vs. National Accreditation: Most reputable online bachelor's degrees in Art and Art History are accredited by regional accrediting agencies, which are considered more prestigious than national ones. Regional accreditation ensures that the institution meets high academic standards and often facilitates credit transfers between schools.
  • Programmatic Accreditation: In addition to institutional accreditation, look for program-specific accreditation from bodies like the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), which signifies a program that meets rigorous standards specific to art and design education.
  • Checking Accreditation Status: Verify the accreditation status of an online program or institution through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) databases.

Evaluating the Quality of Online Programs

Beyond accreditation, there are other factors to consider when assessing the quality of an online Art and Art History degree:
  • Faculty Credentials: Investigate the qualifications of the faculty members teaching courses. Look for instructors who have relevant academic backgrounds, professional experience in the field, and a history of scholarly research or creative work.
  • Curriculum Rigor: A well-designed curriculum that covers both theoretical knowledge and practical skills is essential. Ensure that the program offers a comprehensive range of courses, including art history, studio art, critical theory, and digital media.
  • Technological Resources: Given the visual nature of art studies, high-quality online programs should provide robust digital tools and platforms that facilitate interactive learning, such as virtual art galleries, design software, and collaboration tools.
  • Student Support Services: Effective support services can greatly enhance your online learning experience. Look for programs that offer academic advising, career services, technical support, and opportunities for networking with peers and professionals.
  • Interactive Learning Opportunities: Although studying online, interactive learning components like virtual museum tours, guest lectures, live critiques, and discussion forums can enrich your educational experience.
  • Alumni Success: The accomplishments of a program's graduates can be indicative of its quality. Research alumni outcomes to see if former students have gone on to successful careers in the arts or continued their education at graduate-level institutions.
By carefully considering both accreditation and these additional quality indicators, prospective students can select an online Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History that not only meets high academic standards but also supports their personal and professional development within the field.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History Tuition & Financial Aid

Understanding the financial aspect of pursuing an Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History is crucial for prospective students. Tuition for online programs can vary widely based on several factors including the type of institution (public vs. private), in-state vs. out-of-state tuition rates, and additional fees that may apply.

Comparing Tuition Costs

When looking at the cost of an online art and art history degree, it's important to compare the tuition rates of various schools. Public universities often offer lower tuition rates for in-state students, while out-of-state students may pay higher rates, although some institutions offer a flat tuition rate for all online students regardless of residency.
  • Public Universities: May offer lower tuition rates for residents within the state.
  • Private Colleges: Typically have higher tuition rates but may offer more specialized programs or smaller class sizes.
  • Flat-Rate Tuition: Some schools offer one rate for all online students, which can be beneficial for out-of-state students.

Understanding Additional Fees

Beyond tuition, additional fees can affect the overall cost of your degree. These might include technology fees, which cover the cost of using the online platform, and materials fees, especially in courses where art supplies are needed.
  • Technology Fees: Covers access to learning management systems and technical support.
  • Materials Fees: May apply to studio art classes where specific supplies are required.
  • Graduation Fees: Some institutions charge a fee for processing graduation applications.

Navigating Financial Aid Options

Financial aid can significantly reduce the cost of an online bachelor's degree in art and art history. It's important to explore all available options:
  • Federal Financial Aid: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for loans, grants, and work-study programs.
  • Scholarships: Many institutions and external organizations offer scholarships based on merit or financial need.
  • Fellowships and Grants: These do not require repayment and are often awarded based on academic achievement or specific criteria.
Prospective students should also inquire about payment plans that allow tuition costs to be spread out over time, making payments more manageable.

Employer Assistance Programs

For those currently employed, some companies offer tuition assistance or reimbursement programs as part of their benefits package. Employees interested in advancing their education should consult with their HR department to learn more about available support.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Employers may pay for a portion or all of your tuition after successful course completion.
  • Tuition Discounts: Some schools partner with companies to offer reduced tuition rates for employees.

Military and Veterans Benefits

Veterans and active military members may be eligible for education benefits through the GI Bill® or other military education programs. These benefits can greatly reduce or even cover the full cost of tuition.
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill®: Offers benefits including tuition coverage, a housing allowance, and money for books and supplies.
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: Provides additional support for veterans at institutions where tuition exceeds the GI Bill® cap.
It is essential for prospective students to research thoroughly and understand all aspects of tuition and financial aid when considering an Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History. Financial planning can make the difference in not just affording education but also in reducing stress throughout one's academic journey.

Best Careers for Bachelor's Degree in Art And Art History in 2023 by Salary

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API.

Career Opportunities with an Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History

Graduates of online Bachelor's degree programs in Art and Art History possess a versatile set of skills and knowledge that can be applied to various career paths. Their education not only equips them with an understanding of artistic techniques and historical context but also hones their critical thinking, research, and communication abilities. Here are some of the career opportunities that await those with a degree in this field:

  • Museum and Gallery Roles: Graduates can pursue positions such as curators, exhibition coordinators, or education directors in museums and galleries. These roles involve managing collections, organizing exhibitions, and developing educational programs to engage the public with art.
  • Education: With an additional teaching certification, degree holders can become art teachers at the elementary, middle, or high school levels. They can also work as lecturers or educators in museums, sharing their knowledge of art history with visitors.
  • Conservation and Restoration: Professionals in this area work to preserve and restore artworks for future generations. This career path typically requires specialized training beyond a bachelor's degree, but a foundation in art history is crucial for understanding the context and importance of the pieces being conserved.
  • Art Criticism and Writing: Those with strong writing skills may become art critics, journalists, or authors, analyzing and reviewing exhibitions, and writing articles or books about art and artists.
  • Creative Roles: Graduates may also find work as practicing artists, creating their own works for sale or commission. This path allows individuals to apply their understanding of art theory and history directly to their creative process.
  • Commercial Art Industry: Skills acquired during the degree program can be applied in advertising agencies, design firms, or publishing companies where creative input is essential for developing visual content.
  • Nonprofit Sector: Many art history graduates work with nonprofit organizations that focus on cultural preservation, arts education, or community outreach programs related to the arts.
  • Archives and Libraries: Those interested in the research aspect of art history might find employment in archival settings or specialized art libraries where they can help organize and maintain collections of books, periodicals, photographs, and digital resources related to art and art history.

The skills developed through an online Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History extend beyond traditional roles associated with the arts. Graduates are also well-prepared for positions that require strong analytical abilities, detail orientation, and a nuanced understanding of cultural contexts—attributes valuable in many professional settings.

Moreover, the evolving landscape of digital media opens up new avenues for careers in digital curation, virtual exhibition design, and multimedia content creation. The adaptability of online degree holders to digital platforms makes them suited for roles that bridge the gap between traditional arts and new media applications.

Ultimately, a Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History provides a foundation that can lead to diverse career opportunities. With the right combination of skills, experience, and passion for the subject matter, graduates are well-positioned to pursue fulfilling careers across a spectrum of industries where the appreciation for art and its historical significance is valued.

FAQ's About Obtaining an Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History

What Types of Online Art and Art History Degrees are Available?

Prospective students interested in the intersection of creativity and scholarship have a variety of online degree options:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.): Offers a broad education in art and art history, usually with a liberal arts foundation.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.): More focused on studio art practices with intensive hands-on training.
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.): May concentrate on the technical or commercial aspects of art, like graphic design or arts management.

Can I Get a Quality Education in Art and Art History Online?

Yes, many accredited institutions provide high-quality online programs:

  • Courses are often developed and taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus.
  • Online platforms facilitate interactive learning, with access to digital archives and virtual museum tours.
  • Technological tools enable students to create, share, and critique artwork digitally.

How Interactive are Online Art and Art History Programs?

Interactivity is a key component:

  • Discussion forums allow for critical discourse on art pieces and historical context.
  • Video conferencing enables live critiques and workshops.
  • Collaborative projects may be part of coursework, mirroring real-world artistic collaboration.

What Should I Look for in an Online Art and Art History Program?

Selecting the right program is crucial:

  • Accreditation: Ensure the institution is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency.
  • Courses Offered: Look for a curriculum that aligns with your career goals.
  • Faculty Expertise: Research the qualifications and experience of instructors.
  • Resources: Check if the program provides access to digital libraries, art databases, and other research tools.
  • Technology: The platform should support high-quality visuals and seamless communication.

How Will I Complete Studio Requirements in an Online Program?

Studio requirements are adapted for online delivery:

  • Institutions may provide kits with necessary materials for at-home use.
  • Digital submission of artwork allows for critique and assessment.
  • Some programs may offer hybrid options with local studio partnerships.

Is an Online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History Respected by Employers?

An online degree from an accredited institution holds value:

  • Employers increasingly recognize the legitimacy of online education.
  • The key is to demonstrate a strong portfolio and relevant skills.
  • Networking opportunities through online programs can lead to industry connections.

Can I Pursue a Master's Degree After an Online Bachelor's in Art and Art History?

An online bachelor's degree can be a stepping stone to graduate studies:

  • It qualifies you for most Master's programs, provided you meet other admission requirements.
  • The critical thinking and research skills gained are valuable for advanced academic work.

What Career Opportunities Are Available with This Degree?

A range of career paths open up with this degree:

  • Museum or gallery work, including curatorial roles or education outreach.
  • Creative roles in design, illustration, or photography.
  • Positions in education, from K-12 art teaching to higher education administration.
Remember to carefully evaluate your personal goals, interests, and learning preferences when considering an online Bachelor's Degree in Art and Art History. The right program will not only provide comprehensive knowledge but also support your future career aspirations in the arts.