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Grad School and Careers

Department of Art


Graduate School

There are many great opportunities waiting for those considering masters and doctorate programs beyond their Bachelor of Arts from Millsaps College. Our Art Department faculty is here to help you define your personal goals for continuing education in the arts, and you may also find the following information useful in determining your graduate school needs.

The best site for finding out information about particular art history programs, as well as general information about applying to graduate schools.

This is an excellent, detailed, hard-headed, though rather pessimistic view of graduate school, written by a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, but a good thing to read so you won't be pursuing graduate studies too naively.



Career choices for art majors are varied, beginning with the option of pursuing a career as a professional artist or art historian. Because of the nature of a broad-based liberal arts education and because of the skills of critical thinking and oral, written, and visual communication developed in the Core and strengthened in the art major, you could also use your studies in the art department as an introduction to professional careers such as law, medicine, and business administration. Representatives from these professions have repeatedly emphasized the value of undergraduate majors in the humanities as a life-long resource for careers in their fields. Following up on this point, one reference book on career choices has described art history as "the most wide-ranging of all humanistic disciplines", and as such it is recognized as providing important insights into a variety of cultural issues that affect decision-making policies in these professions.

More specifically, a B.A. or B.S. in art can lead to careers in gallery and museum administration, exhibition design, advertising, journalism, publishing layout design, medical illustration, primary and secondary education in the arts, historic preservation, telecommunication, cinema and video production, set design, cartoonist, computer imaging, graphic design, interior design, and landscape design, among others. Graduate work leading to an M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D. opens up further opportunities, including college teaching, art therapy (in hospitals, mental health centers, schools, prisons, nursing homes, and substance abuse centers), higher positions in the curatorial, educational, and administrative departments of museums, gallery administration, art conservation, art appraisal, architectural design, and journalistic art criticism, as well as more varied career options in the other fields mentioned above.

Millsaps graduates with majors or minors in art have gone on to pursue a higher degree in studio art, art history, art education, architecture, or related fields at such institutions as Pratt Institute of Art, Georgetown University, the Art Institute of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana State University, Florida State University, Maryland Institute of Art, Pennsylvania State University, the University of New Mexico, the University of Georgia, the University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, the University of Memphis, Richmond University in London, the University of Essex in England, and Leiden University in the Netherlands. They have earned M.F.A. degrees in studio art, M.A. degrees in art history, historic preservation, advertising, art therapy, and museum studies, and Ph.D. degrees in art history and art education. Some of our graduates have jobs in advertising, graphic design, museum curating, museum gift-shop administration, art restoration, art gallery administration, video production, framing, book design, high school and college teaching, while others are lawyers, doctors, social workers, etc.

For more information, come talk to one of us in the art department or visit the Millsaps College Career Center. Also check out the following books, available at the Millsaps Library:

  • Career Associates. Career Choices for the 90's for Students of Art. New York: Walker, 1990 (Millsaps Library N6505.C34)
  • Holden, Donald. Art Career Guide. Lakewood, NJ: Watson-Guptill, 1983 (Millsaps Library N8350.H6)
  • Ito, Dee. Careers in the Visual Arts. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1993 (AC 323)
  • Lazzari, Margaret R. The Practical Handbook for the Emerging Artist. New York: Wadsworth, 2001. (AC 321)
  • Zernich, Theodore. Careers in the Visual Arts. New York: National Art Education Association, 1980. (Millsaps Library N8351.Z37x)

And be sure to check out these useful web sites: