Faculty of Arts & Science

Beyond Undergrad

A degree in Art History will equip you with the ability to examine, reflect upon, and write about visual representations.

These critical thinking and communication skills can set the foundations for a wide variety of careers and roles in today's job market. Our students have gone on to work in unrelated fields, such as law, and have applied their subject-specific knowledge to careers as teachers, publishers, journalists, or professors, or have gained employment in commercial or public art galleries or museums. A degree in Art History will take you as far as your own creativity allows when you pursue a career, training, or education beyond undergrad.

Becoming an Art Historian: What Degrees Do I Need?

Many students from the Department have pursued careers in commercial or public art galleries or museums with distinction. In combination with further training in education, library school, museum studies, or therapy, the possibilities include primary and secondary teaching, placement in libraries and archives, some positions in art galleries and museums, and art therapy.

With an Honours BA alone, possible careers are limited but might include journalism and publishing (particularly if combined with an English program), commercial galleries, and auction houses. While some graduates of the Department have developed very successful careers as consultants, corporate and freelance curators, and dealers, most curatorial positions and those in architectural preservation require at least an MA degree. Normally a position in higher education requires a PhD, taking a minimum of four years of study beyond the MA.

Facing the Real Art World

“What are you going to do with an Art History degree?” The question, usually coming from a concerned parent, is all too familiar. The short answer is: “Hang it on my wall.” This guide offers some materials for a longer answer. "The Real Art World: A Guide to Careers for Art History Students" is written by Alexander Nagel and Eisee Sylvester, edited by Terri Cook.

Read "The Real Art World: A Guide to Careers for Art History Students" PDF


Thinking of Graduate School?

Students are advised to consult the School of Graduate Studies website for more information about graduate degree programs at the University of Toronto. Students interested in American programs must take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) in their fourth year; see your registrar for the examination schedule.

Enquiries about the Art History graduate degree programs at the Graduate Department of Art History—leading to the Master of Arts (MA) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)—should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies and Graduate Assistant.

Graduates in Art History may also consider the Faculty of Information Studies, whose programs lead to the degrees Master of Museum Studies, Master of Information, PhD in Information Studies, and Diploma in Advanced Study in Information Studies. Enquiries should be addressed to the iSchool.

The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design offers professional graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and visual studies. Degrees offered include Master of Architecture (professional and post-professional), Master of Landscape Architecture (professional and post-professional), Master of Urban Design (post-professional), Master of Visual Studies in Curatorial Studies, and Master of Visual Studies in Studio Art. Enquiries should be addressed to the Daniels Faculty office.

If you are thinking about graduate school in art history, see the suggestions on planning and applying in the Graduate School Tips and Guidelines PDF document. HASA also offers workshops on graduate school with faculty and graduate students that can help. Look for the announcements on the HASA Facebook page and in the undergraduate newsletters.

Resources for Recent Graduates

Recent graduates from the University of Toronto can register for the Recent Graduates Employment Service (RGES) and use the service up to two years after their convocation date. RGES gives access to all programs and services offered by the Career Centre. In addition, graduates will receive access to full-time work opportunities that are immediately available in a wide range of industries.

Student Life's Career Exploration and Education department supports students and recent graduates by exploring what students can do with their degree, discovering job opportunities and further education.

Access the Career & Co-Curricular Learning Network (CLNx)