PhD in Art

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Art programs are available in art history or education. Continue reading for more information about course topics and research opportunities in these doctoral programs, as well as career options for graduates.

What Will I Study in an Art History Program?

The Ph.D. program in art history is a versatile program that provides interdisciplinary study from a plethora of times, countries and art forms. In addition to history, the program is a blend of archeology, architecture and art. You'll study artistic styles and techniques and how they've progressed over time. You'll find that pottery, clothing, murals, blankets and rugs from ancient civilizations are considered art just as much as Rembrandt and Michelangelo.

You can consider focusing your study on one area of study, such as Native American art or Asian art; however, you'll most likely study a variety of period pieces. Some of the art you'll look at include the Byzantine, Medieval, Baroque, Egyptian, Roman and Greek collections. You'll also spend time studying museum operations and how to analyze artwork. Along with these courses, you'll also study research methodologies and some teaching techniques. Because this program requires a lot of time examining art, researching and orally defending your dissertation, you will not find this degree online.

Art History Topics Architecture, museum operations, pottery, Asian art, renowned artists
Art Education Courses Teaching theories, interpretive research, art policies, diversity in education, curriculum planning
Possible Careers Professor, archivist, historian, museum curator, art auctioneer
Median Salary (2018)$48,400 (for archivists, curators, and museum workers)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)13% growth (for all archivists, curators, and museum workers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study in an Art Education Program?

This program is currently not offered over the Internet by accredited institutions. Art education focuses on teaching methods and advanced research. Some programs provide additional concentrations in arts policies, which teach you about running art programs, museums and nonprofit organizations.

Subjects you'll study may include interpretive research, theories of art education, community dynamics, teaching theories, curriculum planning and diversity in education. Along with these courses, you'll be expected to complete a teaching practicum, a dissertation and an examination that shows your breadth of knowledge.

What Can I Do with My Degree?

Graduates holding a Ph.D. in Art History may pursue work as an art historian researching and publishing their findings in academic journals. You can also become a museum curator, archivist, art auctioneer or college art professor. With a Ph.D. in Art Education, you can research and provide valuable contributions to the art field or work as a teacher in schools, colleges or museums.