Art History Degree for Transfer


The Associate in Arts in Art History degree for Transfer (AA-T) prepares the student to transfer to a California State University (CSU) as a junior to further their studies of the history of the practice and production of visual arts.

See Taft College’s Transfer Center. Our Transfer Admission Guarantees include many other schools. Check with your Counselor to see if this degree can transfer to other four-year schools.

The study of art history is the study of objects within their historical, cultural, and stylistic context. This is complemented by the requirement of two studio classes where the art history student learns the basic skills and concepts inherent in creating a work of art, in addition to the 60 units that include the following required courses: ARTH 1510 Prehistoric to Renaissance Art History, ARTH 1520 Renaissance to Contemporary Art History, ARTH 2030 Survey of Asian Art, ARTH 2040 Survey of African, Oceanic, and the Americas Art, ART 1600 Two-Dimensional Design, ART 1620 Drawing and Composition, and two of the following: HIST 2210 World History to 1600, HIST 2204 Western Civilization from 1600 and HUM 2010 Film Studies.

Earnings Potential

An associate degree in art history offers you the salary potential of $18,508 two years after graduation from Taft College with expected increases to $31,599 at five years, based on five-year studies of graduates by California Community Colleges. These do not reflect salaries with a four-year degree.1

Careers include a diverse array of positions in arts management, education, publishing, and nonprofits, among others. These typically require a minimum of a four-year degree. When you transfer to a university, you may also consider combining an art history major with a minor from a wide range of options that will allow you to develop skills for jobs in many industries, including business administration, journalism and political science. At some universities, you may find study abroad components in your art history program, which can give you an opportunity to travel and learn about different cultures. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage is $52,030 for museum technicians or conservators; $50,120 for archivists, curators, and museum workers; $63,880 for curators, specifically; $58,500 for elementary and secondary teachers; $80,850 for post-secondary teachers; and $144,000 for art directors. Overall employment of archivists, curators, and museum workers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.2

1 California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Salary Surfer. 2021. Accessed 19 April 2023.

2 “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 8 Sept. 2022. Accessed 19 April 2023.

Program Requirements

To earn an Associate in Arts in Art History degree for Transfer (AA-T), students must complete all course requirements with a minimum grade of “C” in all courses required for the major or area of emphasis; and must complete the General Education Breadth pattern for CSUs with an overall GPA of 2.0. There are no local graduation requirements associated with this degree. Additionally, students shall be deemed eligible for transfer into a CSU baccalaureate program when the student meets both the following requirements:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 60 semester units or 90 quarter units that are eligible for transfer to the CSU, including both of the following:
    1. The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University General Education Breadth Requirements.
    2. A minimum of 18 semester units or 27 quarter units in a major or area of emphasis, as determined by the community college district.
  2. Obtainment of a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Program Learning Outcomes

After completing the Art History for Transfer major, a student will be able to:

  1. Apply art history terminology in the analysis and evaluation of works of art and architecture through written tests, presentations, and oral discussions, the intersection of form, content, and patronage in the formation of visual culture.
  2. Develop critical interdisciplinary thinking, both in oral and written form, through comparative analysis and development of visual acuity.
  3. Discern and appreciate the wide range of ethnically, culturally, and socially diverse art forms, representations, and practices.
  4. Identify the interrelationship of form and content in the artworks and architectural monuments of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
  5. Locate works of art and architecture within diverse historical, political, religious, and philosophical contexts.

Tips for Art, Studio Arts, and Art History Students

Thinking about earning a degree in Studio Art or Art History? Consider visiting a museum in person or online. See our informative page on more than a dozen outstanding museums. Links included for additional information!  Museums list.

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