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Best Masters in Art History Programs in the US

Today, we will be bringing to the best master’s programs on art history. It will serve as guidelines for making the right choice of art history school in the United States. We encourage you to read this article to the end so that you be able to opt from the schools.

Art history is one of those remarkable careers where historical visual arts, concerned with identifying, classifying, describing, evaluating, interpreting, and understanding the art products and historic development of the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, drawing, printmaking, photography, interior design are studied.

The United States has lots of master’s degree programs for art history, and several schools offer combined programs that let students graduate with two master’s degrees that complement one another.

Some of the schools encourage prospective art history majors to take one course in art history at the 10000 level to fulfill their general education requirement in the arts while others have requirements that are quite different from that.

The courses will be useful preliminaries to advanced work, and it is recommended that they take the course as early as possible in their undergraduate careers.

So how exactly do you become a certified art historian? Check out this list of 10 of the best schools that offer art history in the United States.

Here are the best art history schools in the United States

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Columbia University
  • The New School Parsons School of Design
  • Williams College
  • Hunter College
  • Tufts University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • New York University
  • University of Washington
  • Boston University

1. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania students get a well-rounded experience in class and at the many distinguished museums in and around Philadelphia.

Students must complete 10 courses and a master’s research paper in this two-year program. First-year students gain further insight into their studies through the required weekly colloquia, where they join faculty members in discussing different subjects.

The university also requires that students prove their proficiency in at least two foreign languages.

University of Pennsylvania students can even take up to three classes at the University of Delaware, Princeton University, or Bryn Mawr College or participate in semester- and year-long exchange programs at fellow Ivy League universities and other prestigious schools.

While the University of Pennsylvania does offer a doctoral program in art history, it is separate from the master’s program, and so graduates must apply for admission to continue onto the Ph.D. level.

2. Columbia University

Columbia University’s art history master’s degree program focuses on not only that subject but also archaeology.

This full- and part-time program lets students concentrate their studies in several specialties, ranging from Ancient Art and Archaeology to the History of Photography.

The program prepares students to not only work as gallery and museum curators and administrators but also as scholars, with classes that look through the past as well as at the criticism and theory of art and archaeology.

And thanks to Columbia’s location, students can easily visit many prestigious art galleries and historical societies, many of which offer them free admission.

Qualified full-time students are eligible to spend the fall semester of their second year at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in France, which allows them to earn a dual Master of Arts from both Columbia and the Sorbonne.

Columbia recommends that prospective students interested in the more recent history of art apply instead to its master’s program in Modern Art and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies.

3. The New School Parsons School of Design

The New School Parsons School of Design teamed up with another renowned institution to offer its History of Design and Curatorial Studies master’s degree.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, located in Manhattan, hosts the program, so students can gain valuable work experience with this well-respected facility’s staff members and collections.

If interested in research, students can use the libraries at the New School as well as at the museum and other nearby universities.

The 42-credit program takes two to four years to finish, depending on whether students go full- or part-time, and courses include a mix of history and curatorial studies.

Moreover, they can opt to pursue the nine-credit Graduate Minor in Design Studies, which students can earn through their electives. Students must either write a thesis or pass a master’s examination to graduate.

4. Williams College

Students call the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute home when pursuing a Master of Arts in Art History at Williams College.

The Clark facility houses not only a research institute but also an art museum and library where students get their own carrel.

During their two years in the program, students collaborate with the institute while also taking traditional classes that dive into not only art’s place in history but also curation.

Williams College rounds out the program experience with various workshops and a required trip abroad taken over about three weeks in the student’s first year, which the college pays for.

Williams College students also have several opportunities for internships, including paid positions at the college’s partner museums or in the Chapin Library, home to many rare illustrated manuscripts and books. Research assistant positions are available as well.


That was all about the best art history schools in the United States. Was the article useful to you? You can send in your questions to us using the comment box.

Last Updated on December 19, 2022 by Admin

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