What Can I Do with My Art History Major?
Georgetown’s Art History program offers components of several disciplinary and interdisciplinary concentrations within the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Foreign Service. Courses focus on a range of historical periods, cultures, and media, as well as methods of study and problems of interpretation and criticism.
The goal of the art history program is to develop visual and critical abilities and train students to relate direct observation to appropriate historical, political, social and environmental contexts. This program encourages students to use their experiences in languages, literature, philosophy, theology, and a variety of other fields of study to support them throughout this process. Throughout the art history major, students will study original works of art in Washington area museums, and engage in intensive research and writing experiences. The art history program is a liberal arts foundation for pursuing jobs in art-related fields, literature, journalism, teaching, and law. Many Art History majors pursue degrees in M.A. or Ph.D. programs in art history and other fields, including Georgetown’s Art & Museum Studies M.A. program.
Art history allows for the development of a core set of skills in a wide range of occupational settings. Throughout your experience in the program, you will obtain the following skills:
- Appreciation of aesthetics
- Attention to detail
- Presentation skills
- Independent thought
- Writing, editing
- Critical thinking
- Seeking out alternative perspectives
- Integrating theory with practice
- Comparing/contrasting interpretations
- Cultural awareness
- Flexibility and openness to new ideas
- Conveying complex information
You can use the examples above, and experiences from classes or research projects to enhance your resume. Try plugging in some of your experiences or skills gained into this formula: Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).
Sample Resume Class 1, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Member of Class, taught by Prof. _____
- Developed understanding of critical theory for visual art as it applies to art, visual culture, and museum studies by (insert course projects/assignments) in ARTH 433 Critical Theory for Visual Arts course
- Conducted museum fieldwork by interning with the National Gallery of Art Department of Interpretive Resources and engaged in prototyping, testing, and evaluation of new interactive digital offering to better serve a multigenerational audience
- Analyzed wide variety of Latin American cultural and artistic production with an emphasis on artists’ relationship to religion, tradition, race, gender, and politics by (insert course projects/assignments) in ARTH 366 Latin American Art & Architecture course
Georgetown Alumni have taken their art history degree across multiple different industries and have applied the skills they learned in art history across multiple disciplines.
“An underrated benefit of studying Art History at Georgetown was having an on-campus gallery and also easy and convenient access to DC museums. This allowed me to be an intern at the Smithsonian during my junior and senior years.” – 2013 Georgetown College Graduate, Art History
“I would always look to hire people who worked or studied art (as I did). I have found in my five to six years working in the HR space that some of the best hires I’ve made have been students of art as they are keenly perceptive, critical thinkers, detail oriented, and excellent writers. Art history majors also have often studied other languages and traveled and can bring that worldly experience and global mindset to the work they do and I have definitely found that true for myself as well.” – 2013 Georgetown College Graduate, Art History
Helpful Keywords to Improve Searches
There are lots of ways to find good keywords to help your job or internship search process, or even just to learn more about the types of jobs you can do within a specific major. One way to explore this is by checking out the job search tool on Google.
Once you are in, type in something generic like your major and the world internship afterward. Once you hit enter, it will give you lots of options to explore, but if you want to explore titles, possible career paths, or keywords, hover your mouse over the ‘Title’ tab on the top of the page. This will give you a ton of ideas and options to explore possible keywords.
Sample Internship Opportunities
- Museums (e.g., National Museum of Women in the Arts, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Art)
- Auction Houses (e.g., Sotheby’s)
- Commercial arts manufacturers (e.g., Wordmarque Design)
- Art centers (e.g., Arlington Arts Center)
- High schools (e.g., Cesar Chavez High School)
The Georgetown Art and Art History Department Website is rich with additional information on studying Art History.
Professional Associations are a great place to go to dive deeper into the field of art history and learn more about what post grad life might look like.
- Association for Art History
- National Art Education Association
- International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art
- College Art Association
Vault is a fantastic resource to learn more about specific career fields in art history. Vault has information such as salary information, work environment, education and training requirements, outlooks, and specific tips for entering into the field.
Professors & Academic Deans
Georgetown professors and faculty members can be a wonderful resource for Georgetown students. If you are still curious to learn more about the disciplines of a specific major, we’d encourage you to connect with your professors! Outside of office hours, Georgetown has an online interface called GU360 where students can explore and connect with faculty members that are eager to mentor and support students. You can use this interface to learn more about specific department research, specialties, and areas of study within a major.
You can also connect with your academic dean or counselor to further discuss opportunities within a given major.
Lastly, each department has a dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). This is the individual in charge of coordinating the major program or department as a whole. You can find the Director of Undergraduate Studies by exploring the faculty and staff pages of individual departments websites.
Connecting with alumni is a fantastic way to explore a day in the life of any given major student. There are several different ways to connect with Georgetown Alums. Hoya Gateway is Georgetown’s premier networking platform which connects alumni and students to have meaningful conversations and build a strong network of support. This is a platform alumni opt into with the sole purpose of supporting current students, which means there is an extremely high response rate.
You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with Georgetown Alum. A simple alumni search on Georgetown’s LinkedIn profile will help you get connected to approximately 130 thousand alumni, which you can then filter to meet the location, major, industry, or skills that you are interested in exploring.
You can also check out our Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about what Georgetown alumni in specific majors are up to after graduation. We survey our seniors at the end of each year and into the following year to learn about jobs they secured, service opportunities they committed to, or graduate schools they decided to attend. You can filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. You’ll see in many cases that alums are using majors in a wide variety of ways, and your major doesn’t always equal your career path.
Career Center Staff
You can also connect with career center staff to talk through the possible outcomes of one major over another. In short, there are endless opportunities no matter what major you choose. However, connecting with someone might help you navigate your decision making process a little bit easier.
At the career center, you have the opportunity to meet with either a Career Exploration Counselor or an Industry Advisor. Career Exploration Counselors can help you talk through concerns, goals, the big picture, and strategies to move forward. You can think of them as generalists and a great place to get started. Industry Advisors can help you think through specific questions about a given career path and provide specific industry information and trends. You can think of them as specialists for once you start to narrow down your possible path. If you think an appointment with one of these individuals would benefit you, you can make an appointment on Handshake.