Art History Overview
The art history program focuses on the visual arts and the social, cultural and historical context in which art is created. Majors may take courses in Ancient, Renaissance and Baroque, and Modern art history or other areas. For those considering teaching, museum and gallery work, arts conservation or arts management, the major is designed to meet the student’s needs and may include an internship at an appropriate institution.
For more information, please visit the Art History Program’s website.
A total of 11 courses are required, 10 of which are art history courses. Students must earn a grade of C+ or better in all courses contributing to the Art History Major.
A typical path through the major:
1. A first-year student should explore the major, taking any 100-level lecture course(s) of interest offered in any area (Ancient, Renaissance & Baroque, Modern, Non-Western). A first-year student interested in the major should also take ARTH 010, the introductory survey, in the spring semester; this course provides an excellent orientation to the discipline.
2. A sophomore student should continue to explore the discipline, and can begin to take intermediate level courses that provide deeper exposure to selected topics. Specifically, a sophomore can take any 100-level lecture course in any area; can take ARTH 201, the intermediate PoP seminar offered in the fall; and should consider taking a 200-level seminar in any area beginning in the spring. Also, any student who has not taken ARTH 010 yet should take it in the spring.
3. A junior moves firmly into deeper exploration of selected topics, with opportunities to act, in the form of researching independently and writing for a public audience. Specifically, a junior should take ARTH 201, the intermediate seminar offered in the fall; can take any 200-level seminar in any area; and should consider the possibility of studying abroad in the spring semester.
4. A senior has multiple opportunities for informed action as an art historian: researching, writing, and teaching. Specifically, a senior can take any 200-level seminar in any area (all of which provide opportunities for independent research, writing, and professional presentations); can take ARTH 201, the intermediate seminar offered in the fall; and must take in the spring semester ARTH 210, the capstone course where each student runs a discussion section for ARTH 010. Students with a GPA of 3.4 or higher, in consultation with their advisor, may enroll in the 2-semester honors thesis project, which requires significant independent work in the areas of researching and writing.
Because of its interdisciplinary nature, students may wish to double major in art history and another discipline. In such cases, the number of required courses is reduced to 9, consisting of 8 art history courses and 1 studio art course (students must earn a grade of C+ or better in all courses contributing to the Art History Major). It is configured as follows:
Requires the 11 courses for the art history major, including two sections of ARTH 297 (Honors in Art History), to be completed in the fall and spring of the senior year. Students wishing to take honors in art history should identify an area of interest, choose an appropriate advisor, and apply for eligibility to the art history faculty before April 1 of their junior year. See the course description under ARTH 297 Honors in Art History, for details.