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

  • Visual Analysis
  • Critical thinking and reading
  • Strong writing
  • Use of evidence to support an argument
  • Interdisciplinary field of study
  • Ethical judgment and decision making
  • Knowing how to plan and carry out long-term projects
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems with people from different backgrounds

Sean Cotter ’15

Marketing Team Lead, Craster Design Services, London

“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," says Sean Cotter, who majored in art history at Notre Dame. “It 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

    Marketing Team Lead, Craster Design Services, London

    “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," says Sean Cotter, who majored in art history at Notre Dame. “It 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

    Director, Gagosian

    Mary Cecilia Mitsch is director at Gagosian, a global gallery specializing in modern and contemporary art with 17 locations worldwide. She majored in art history and graphic design at Notre Dame and went on to complete an M.A. in art history from Savannah College of Art & Design before moving to New York to pursue gallery management.

  • Adrian Duran ’98

    Associate Professor of Art History, University of Nebraska

    Inspired by his art history studies as an undergraduate at Notre Dame, Adrian R. Duran went on to get an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. As an associate professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Duran has published widely on mid-20th century Italian painting and sculpture, including his 2014 book Painting, Politics and the New Front of Cold War Italy (Ashgate/Routledge), and he edited the 2020 Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies issue “Art of the Latinx Diaspora.” In 2020-21, Duran was the Dorothy K. Hohenberg Chair of Excellence in Art History at the University of Memphis.

  • Katie Hazard ’97

    Associate Director, Burning Man Arts

    Katie Hazard, ’97, is currently the Associate Director 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. She oversees the selection, placement, and installation of over 400 artworks annually in Black Rock City and beyond.

  • Sophia Bevacqua ’17

    Ph.D. student at The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU

    After graduation, art history major Sophia Bevacqua, took a full-time fellowship in Rome at the Vatican Museums Patron’s Office, with seven laboratories dedicated to preserving and restoring the site’s vast collections. She worked with the laboratories to determine which works of art to restore, which methods should be used to do the work, how much each project would cost, and which of the museum's donors might be most interested in such a project. She's now pursuing a Ph.D. in art history at NYU.

99% of Art History majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, or joined the military within six months of graduation.

47% find full-time jobs

  • Advanced level curatorial intern, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery
  • Analyst, JP Morgan
  • Analyst, Mercer
  • Assistant paralegal, Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy
  • Associate, Saffron Ventures
  • 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
  • Transfer pricing staff, EY

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.

32% go to graduate or professional school

  • Art conservation: New York University
  • Art history: University of Minnesota, 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.

12% enter service programs

  • Alliance for Catholic Education, Stockton, California
  • AmeriCorps, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Assumptionist Volunteers, Rome, Italy
  • City Year, Boston, Massachusetts

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.

8% 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 and other gap-year activities, internships, etc.

Further Reading

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