Careers

Study Art History. Do Anything.

What can I do with an Art History major?

Our recent graduates have gotten great jobs in technology, consulting, and government, while many also pursue graduate school in the humanities or sciences. A significant percentage also pursue full-time service work for a year or more, seeking to make a difference in the world by helping others.

Skills you'll learn

  • Ability to articulate complex thoughts and theories
  • Effective oral communication
  • Strong writing
  • Team Work
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
  • Ability to apply knowledge to real-world settings
  • Ethical judgment and decision making
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems with people from different backgrounds

Sean Cotter ‘15

Master’s degree student, University of London Courtauld Institute of Art

“Art History at Notre Dame is a great, diverse curriculum. It’s such a fascinating field of study, especially if you want to look at history not from just the textbook but from what people were talking about, what people were producing, and what people thought was worthy of painting and sculpting," saws Sean Cotter, an art history major. “Art History has provided me with so much background for analysis of visual imagery, analysis of a problem that’s depicted in sculpture or a painting or architecture. It really teaches you how to solve a problem, and how other people have solved a problem. That’s really what a lot of art is — it’s solving a problem for a very specific context.”

  • Sean Cotter ‘15

    Master’s degree student, University of London Courtauld Institute of Art

    “Art History at Notre Dame is a great, diverse curriculum. It’s such a fascinating field of study, especially if you want to look at history not from just the textbook but from what people were talking about, what people were producing, and what people thought was worthy of painting and sculpting," saws Sean Cotter, an art history major. “Art History has provided me with so much background for analysis of visual imagery, analysis of a problem that’s depicted in sculpture or a painting or architecture. It really teaches you how to solve a problem, and how other people have solved a problem. That’s really what a lot of art is — it’s solving a problem for a very specific context.”

  • Mary Cecilia Mitsch '10

    Associate Director, Marianne Boesky Gallery

    Mary Cecilia Mitsch is an Associate Director at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City where she works with artists, exhibition management, and sales. Mary Cecilia will specifically be co-directing a new gallery space that Marianne Boesky Gallery has opened on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Marianne Boesky Gallery represents some of the world's pre-eminent artists including Frank Stella, Rachel Feinstein, Sue de Beer, and Anthony Pearson among many others. Mary Cecilia studied Graphic Design and Art History at Notre Dame. She graduated in 2010 and pursued her MA in Art History at Savannah College of Art & Design before moving to New York to pursue gallery management.

  • Adrian Duran '98

    Associate Professor, University of Nebraska

    Adrian R Duran graduated from Notre Dame in 1998 with a BA in Art History. After ND, he went on to get an MA and PhD from the University of Delaware. Duran now works at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he is currently an Associate Professor. He served as Department Chair from 2016-19. Duran has published widely on mid-20th century Italian painting and sculpture, including his 2014/18 book Painting, Politics and the New Front of Cold War Italy (Ashgate/Routledge), as well as edited the 2020 Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies issue “Art of the Latinx Diaspora”. Duran will also be the 2020-21 Dorothy K. Hohenberg Chair of Excellence in Art History at the University of Memphis.

  • Katie Hazard '97

    Program Manager, Burning Man Arts

    Katie Hazard, ’97, is currently the Program Manager for Burning Man Arts in Black Rock City, NV. Burning Man Arts, through art grants, mentorship, and art management programs, supports the creation of impactful, interactive artwork around the world. As Program Manager for Burning Man Arts, she manages and serves on the committee which awards grant funding to artists, she directs art management processes and staff emphasizing community engagement, partners with organizations to install Burning Man art globally, and she curates the annual placement of 400 art installations. 

  • Sophia Bevacqua ’17

    Fellow, Vatican Museums

    Bevacqua, an art history major, now works in the Vatican Museums Patron’s Office, with seven laboratories dedicated to preserving and restoring the site’s vast collections. Bevacqua is something of an intermediary in restoration projects. She works with the laboratories to determine which works of art will be restored, which methods will be used to do the work, and how much each project will cost. She then works to match upcoming restoration projects with benefaction from the museums’ pool of approximately 2,400 donors. She’s also working on an exhibition curated by Vatican Museums director Barbara Jatta of pieces that will tour major museums in the U.S.

97% of Art History majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, or joined the military within six months of graduation.

61% find full-time jobs

  • Analyst, Mercer
  • Assistant paralegal, Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy
  • Archivist, Prentice Art Communications
  • Art associate, Park West Gallery
  • Communications and marketing assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Corporate management trainee, Kraft Heinz Co.
  • Digital photo archive assistant, Picturae
  • Investment banking analyst, JP Morgan
  • Library assistant, Witt & Conway Libraries
  • Patrons fellowship, Vatican Museums
  • Staff consultant, Ernst & Young
  • Staff consultant, Kenrich Group
  • Studio associate, Deloitte
  • Training and development coordinator, Northwestern Mutual

Our alumni leave Notre Dame with an expansive worldview and a variety of real-world skills.

Employers love that our students are passionate, curious, and socially engaged. Once on the job, they find that our Art History graduates are critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and collaborators.

They are the embodiment of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters’ motto: our students study everything so that they can do anything.

18% go to graduate or professional school

  • Art history: University of Oregon
  • Law: Fordham University, University of Pennsylvania
  • Management: University of Notre Dame

Going on to graduate or professional school after earning a degree in Art History is a fantastic opportunity to branch out into a new area or dive in-depth into a subject focused on as an undergraduate. 

A senior thesis is a great way to prepare for grad school — it demonstrates the ability to do serious research and independent work.

7% enter service programs

  • AmeriCorps, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Assumptionist Volunteers, Rome, Italy

Postgraduate service can be a life-changing experience and provide Art History students with transferable skills for the next step in their careers.

Every year, approximately 20 percent of the graduating senior class in Arts and Letters make a one- to two-year commitment to serve in areas such as public and private education, family and children services, after-school programs, developing countries, and non-governmental organizations.

11% launch independent projects

Note: Outcomes data comes from First Destination reports, a survey of recent graduates conducted by the Notre Dame Center for Career Development and Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Status is known for more than 90% of each graduating class. 

Independent projects include activities such as writing a novel, making a film or fine arts project, traveling the world, caring for a family member, etc.

Further Reading

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