History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA in Art History

George Mason University’s master’s degree in art history prepares students for a variety of arts-related careers in museums, art administration, secondary teaching, and graduate studies at the Ph.D. level. Because it places special emphasis on new media skills, museology, and pre-professional internships, our program is unique to this region.

Our 30-credit curriculum features courses in art historiography and methods, history and new media, the museum, topics-based research seminars, and a colloquium in preparation for the comprehensive exams. Our joint department of History and Art History affords students possibilities for related historical studies and training through the Center for History and New Media. Students may also take elective courses in the History of Decorative Arts M.A. program at the Smithsonian.

Our widely-published faculty members conduct research and teach in many areas.  We range from Ancient to Contemporary in time periods; we span the globe to cover Europe, North and South America, Asia, and the Middle East; and we consider a full spectrum of art, artifacts and material culture.  Students can expect small classes with personal attention to individual interests and career goals, and the opportunity to get to know and study with one another in a small and collegial environment. Learn more about the many accomplishments of our faculty and students here.

Program highlights:

  • Training in new media as well as traditional research skills
  • Seminar-size classes
  • Late afternoon and evening classes
  • Undergraduate art history degree not required
  • Internships available
  • Unparalleled museum and library resources of Washington DC

Graduates with Master’s degrees in Art History are highly employable. While many have found jobs in professions unrelated to the arts, a large percentage have gone on to work in museums, libraries, universities, and a variety of different arts organization.

Our graduates are or have been employed at the following organizations:


  • Art Museum of the Americas
  • Blanton Museum of Art
  • Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg Foundation
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Torpedo Factory Art Center


  • Art and Design Library, George Washington University
  • Boulder Public Library
  • Collections Archivist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Adjunct teaching (college):

  • College of Southern Maryland
  • George Mason University
  • Muskegon Community College
  • Northern Virginia Community College

High School Art History instructor:

  • East Chapel Hill High School

Some of our graduates have also gone on to PhD programs:

  • George Mason University (History)
  • Indiana University Bloomington (Classical Studies)


art history
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