The Department of Art History and the University provide a number of resources, including a robust internship program, to help students gain professional experiences and launch a career. Majors and minors in art history and architectural studies can explore a wealth of career opportunities in the arts.
Not limited to academia, these include curatorial, educational, conservation, and development environments at museums, as well as entrepreneurial paths in galleries and auction houses. Art history students have interned or worked in major local museums—the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Smart Museum—and in prestigious institutions in other major cities such as the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. Students have also landed internships in private galleries and auction houses. Students are encouraged to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies or their thesis advisors.
Internships and Fellowships
The Department of Art History currently awards stipends, and placements for, two summer internships, one at Christie's auction house in New York City, and one in the Art Institute’s Conservation and Conservation Science Department. The department's Visual Resources Center offers several paid internships for VRC Fellows/Jeff Metcalf Interns, providing training in digital image processing, image research, and digital archives. The Smart Museum of Art offers various internships under the mentorship of curators and staff in education, registration, installation, development. and conservation. Majors and minors are encouraged to pursue other competitively awarded external internships in Chicago and beyond, which are often announced by email to majors and minors.
The Mellon Foundation sponsors the Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute, which provides specialized training for students across the United States from groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial field and those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. The program seeks to make a critical impact on American art museums by developing gifted curators who are committed to engaging with the full spectrum of museum audiences.
Students should acquaint themselves with the UChicago Arts website, which includes a number of opportunities in arts organizations. The Jeff Metcalf internship Program provides paid, substantive internships to UChicago undergraduate students.
UChicago Careers in Journalism, Arts, and Media
Journalism, arts and media converge and flourish at the University of Chicago. Through the University of Chicago's strong liberal arts curriculum, enhanced by the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and other art institutions on campus, students pursue interdisciplinary study across the arts and beyond, even as they become experts in specific areas of interest. As part of Career Advancement, UChicago Careers in Journalism, Arts, and Media (UCIJAM) provides essential professional development opportunities to help students launch successful careers in these fields. Internships, fellowships, employment opportunities, and alumni networks take UChicago students across the country and around the globe, allowing them to grow outside the classroom, develop as professionals, and pursue opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines. UCIJAM also sponsors apprenticeships that allow students to collaborate with local mentors on projects that advance their creative and professional goals. The Department of Art History works closely with UCIJAM to increase and match opportunities for its majors and minors.
College Center for Research and Fellowships
The Department of Art History and the College Center for Research and Fellowships have collaborated to establish a series of Research Associate positions in local area institutions, including at the Field Museum, the Newberry Library, and the Art Institute of Chicago. These positions are mentored jointly by a faculty members and a curator and can extend from a quarter to a year. They are generally announced by email and provide the opportunity for gaining art historical research experience in relation to specific collections and archives.
The CCRF also provides comprehensive guidance for all students applying for major prestigious fellowships including the Fulbright, Ertegun, Gates-Cambridge, Marshall, Rhodes, and more. Additional information can be found here: https://ccrf.uchicago.edu/national-fellowships/select-scholarships-and-fellowships.
The CCRF offers a range of grant opportunities, including the Dean’s fund. They also offer funded summer research programs; general counsel and resources on how to get involved in research; information sessions, workshops, and seminars; presentation and publication opportunities.
Many students in Art History serve as paid Research Assistants for faculty. These positions are generally announced by email, and they provide the opportunity to gain research experience.
As a part of the University's Writing Program, writing tutors serve as a writing resource for undergraduates. They work one on one with students on individual papers in order to help improve students' overall skills in academic argumentation and structure.
The Office of Career Advancement lists internships, jobs, and career support for students.