Careers and the Art History Major

Written and oral communication, adaptability, and problem solving have been identified as those skills most in demand by employers (New York Times June 29, 2013). A humanities based education is the best place to develop these skills and to learn the kinds of critical thinking and creativity that will help you in the work place. A degree in Art History not only prepares you in these general skills common to all the humanities, its emphasis on visual literacy, organized analytical research, and knowledge of artistic styles and periods also prepares you for a number of specialized careers associated with the arts and education. 

Graduates with a BA degree in Art History are highly employable. While many of our graduates 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.

Resources for job seekers

What Can I Do with a Degree in Art History?

An exhaustive list of "Career Alternatives for Art Historians" can be found on Notre Dame's website.

The College Art Association's career pages include links to an extensive job bank.

Mason's own University Career Services offers help and guidance to current students and graduates.

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


  • Art Museum of the Americas
  • Briscoe Western Art Museum
  • Freer and Sackler Museum, Smithsonian
  • Glenstone Museum
  • Palm Springs Art Museum
  • Rubin Museum of Art


  • Institute of Museum and Library Services

Other arts-related jobs

  • Architecture firms
  • Estate Sales
  • National Park Service
  • Web design

Our graduates have also gone on to a variety of MA and PhD programs:

  • California College of the Arts
  • Durham University, Art Conservation
  • Georgetown University
  • Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Virginia
  • GMU’s MA in History, Art History, and Decorative Arts programs

*If you are an alumna/e of our program, please contact us with updates.