Area of Study


Art at Northeastern is a "degree with designation," which means students can structure their associate's with a focus on Art History or Studio Art.

Art History

An art historian studies the different types and styles of art and artists throughout history and is often in a position to help others understand and appreciate the significance of art and artists through the ages.

Some art historians also work to preserve and restore pieces of art that have been damaged or degraded over time. This type of work requires artistic abilities and experience in order to accurately restore them to the original artist's work.

Students with a degree in art history often work in museums or art galleries, where they manage, curate and arrange exhibits. Other careers include college professors, archivists, museum registrars, museum technicians, preservationists and art restoration professionals.

Studio Art

A Studio Art focus provides students with a knowledge of a variety of artistic techniques. Students hone their artistic and creative skills to transform sketches, data and verbal instructions into works of art. Studio Art cultivates critical thinking skills, and prepares students for continuing studies in graphic design, marketing and visual design.

Experience with design principles and the knowledge of artistic techniques prepares students for rewarding careers as painters, illustrators, animators and scientific artists.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of craft and fine artists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment growth for artists depends largely on the overall state of the economy and whether people are willing to spend money on art, because people usually buy art when they can afford to do so. During good economic times, people and businesses are interested in buying more artwork; during economic downturns, they generally buy less. However, there is always some demand for art by private collectors and museums.

Job growth for craft and fine artists may be limited by the sale of inexpensive, machine-produced items designed to look like handmade crafts. A continued interest in locally made products and crafted goods will likely offset some of these employment losses.

Illustrators and cartoonists who work in publishing may see their job opportunities decline as traditional print publications lose ground to other media forms. However, new opportunities are expected to arise as the number of electronic magazines and other Internet-based publications continues to grow.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual wage for craft and fine artists was $48,960 in May 2018.