Careers and Graduate School
Are you thinking about a career in Art History? Art history students pursue careers in a wide range of professions, both inside the art world and beyond it. The following resources will help you to explore and prepare for careers in Art History.
Discuss your career aspirations with your major advisor.
Use the excellent resources and services provided by the BC Career Center. Salome Miclette (email@example.com) is the Career Coach for the Arts.
Check the Career Center’s First Destinations Interactive Dashboard for information on where BC Art History majors are working, studying, and interning.
Join Eagle Exchange to network with BC alums currently in a profession that interests you.
- Search and apply for internships that provide opportunities to explore careers and gain experience by
- Considering an application to the McMullen Museum of Art’s Student Ambassadors program;
- Reviewing the Opportunities for Students on the Art History webpage;
- Searching the BC Career Center’s Jobs and Internships page;
- Subscribing to the Art History listserv (contact Rosemary Previte at firstname.lastname@example.org);
- Following the Art Department on Facebook.
Get involved in the Arts at BC.
- Review these informative resources:
- Career Alternatives for Art Historians. Created by an “insider” (Notre-Dame Art History Professor Emeritus Charles M. Rosenberg), this very useful page lists types of jobs along with the skills and background required for each, as well as links to relevant job listings.
- What can I do with a degree in Art History? (Portland State University). List of job titles reported by Art History graduates, a summary of transferable skills possessed by Art History majors, and “Vocational Biographies” (career stories of real people, many with Art History backgrounds).
- Occupational Outlook for the Fields of Education, Training and Library Occupations. From the U.S. Government Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Asuza Pacific University has compiled lists of top traditional careers in art history, top non-traditional art history careers, and top self-employed jobs for art historians.
Do you need to go to graduate school in Art History? Although you can find entry-level jobs in the art world with a B.A. degree, to advance in many institutions and organizations you will need to pursue graduate study, either for a master’s degree or doctorate depending upon your career path. For instance, many positions in museums, historic houses, arts organizations and auction houses require an M.A. in Art History, Museum Studies, Historic Preservation, Arts Administration or Art Business. Students interested in Art Law will need to obtain a J.D. at a law school that teaches this specialization. If you wish to hold a research position, such as professor or museum curator, you will need a Ph.D.
To prepare for Graduate School
Meet with your major advisor.
Use the College Art Association’s Directory of Graduate Programs in Art History to research programs.
Consider what type of graduate program matches your career goals.
Study the languages you will need: M.A. programs normally require one foreign language; Ph.D. programs require two or more. Specific requirements vary by program.
If you are interested in doctoral programs, determine in which art historical field you wish to specialize, which graduate programs are strong in that field, and with which scholars you wish to study. One way to do this is to familiarize yourself with the work of the various scholars in your field of interest.
Speak with current students in and alumni of the programs in which you have interest.