Art History Major Requirements (082)

The art history area of specialization offers diverse courses that consider art throughout history from many geographic regions, designed to prepare students for graduate work in art history, careers in museums and galleries, and arts administration. The curriculum emphasizes skills in critical thinking, visual discrimination and fluency in oral and written communication all of which are essential to such professions as law and medicine.

Core Curriculum for Art History (18 credits)

  • 50:082:101,102 Introduction to Art History (3,3)
  • 50:082:490 Art History Methodology (3)
  • 50:082:491 Individual Study in Art History (3)

and two of the following:

  • 50:080:102 Two-Dimensional Design (3)
  • 50:080:103 Three-Dimensional Design Fundamentals (3)
  • 50:080:213 Introduction to Computer Graphics (3)
  • 50:080:221 Drawing (3)
  • 50:080:225 Color Theory (3)
  • 50:080:264 Digital Photography (3)

Additional Art History Area Requirements (30 credits)

three credits in Ancient or Medieval art from the following courses:

  • 50:082:303 Art of the Ancient Near East (3)
  • 50:082:310 Art of Egypt (3)
  • 50:082:311 Roman Art (3)
  • 50:082:320 Art of the Middle Ages (3)
  • 50:082:342 Greek Art (3)

six credits in Renaissance and Baroque art:

  • 50:082:313 Rennaissance Art in Northern Europe (3)
  • 50:082:331 Italian Renaissance Art (3)
  • 50:082:340 Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century European Art (3)
  • 50:082:349 History of Sculpture: Baroque to Modern (3)

nine credits in 19th- and 20th-century art of Europe and the United States from the following courses:

  • 50:082:251:Modern Architecture (3)
  • 50:082:305 Women and Art (3)
  • 50:082:332 African-American Art (3)
  • 50:082:351 European Art: 1780 to 1880 (3)
  • 50:082:352 European Modern Art: 1880 to 1940 (3)
  • 50:082:353 Contemporary Art (3)
  • 50:082:367 American Art: 1650-1900 (3)
  • 50:082:368 Twentieth Century American Art (3)
  • 50:082:380 Art in the Age of Mechanized and Electronic Media (3)
  • 50:082:382 History of Design (3)
  • 50:082:383 History of Photography (3)
  • 50:082:395 Sculpture of the Twentieth Century (3)

three credits in non-Western art from the following courses:

  • 50:082:285 Art of Africa (3)
  • 50:082:329 Art of the Americas (3)
  • 50:082:360 Japanese Art (3)
  • 50:082:363 Chinese Art (3)
  • 50:082:485 Latin American Art and Culture (3)

Nine elective credits selected from all courses offered in Art History or Museum Studies at the 200 level or above.

Students intending to pursue graduate study in art history should take the equivalent of four semesters of college level courses in a foreign language, usually French or German. Because works of art express the ideas of the culture that produces them, the study of art history involves a knowledge of archaeology, cultural anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, religion, and urban studies. In consultation with their advisors, students should select languages and courses in related subjects that treat the geographic area and time period of their special interest.

Minor Requirements

Art History Minor

The art history minor requires a total of 18 credits as follows:

  • 50:082:101,102 Introduction to Art History I, II (3,3)
  • 12 credits of art history or museum studies, of which six credits must be at the 300 level or higher

Museum Studies Minor (18 Credits)

Program Director: Cyril Reade

The museum studies minor is for students majoring in art, art history, anthropology, history, English, education, or other disciplines, who are considering careers in the museum field or historic sites. They will develop practical skills, knowledge of best practices, gain internship experience, awareness of current debates, and an appreciation of the teamwork and flexibility the field requires. The Stedman Gallery on campus and regional museums and galleries are resources for students interested in gaining experience in art education and curatorial work.

one of the following:

  • 50:082:101 or 102 Introduction to Art History I or II (3)
  • 103 Art Appreciation (3)
  • 50:082:105 Cross-Cultural Art History (3)
  • equivalent course from major field


  • 50:698:205 Introduction to Museum Studies (3)
  • 50:698:408 Individual Study in Museology (3-6)
  • 50:698:409 Museum Internship (BA)

Recommended courses to complete the minor requirements include:

  • 50:698:401 Museum Studies II (3)
  • Additional art history courses
  • 50:698:487 Special Topics in Museum Studies (BA)

Departmental Honors Program in Art History

Students who desire honors in art or art history should make arrangements with a faculty sponsor during their junior year and should submit a two-page proposal to the department faculty. Upon approval, students may enroll in honors courses during their senior year. In recognition of satisfactory completion of the departmental honors program, the registrar will note on the student’s permanent record  “Honors in Art History.”

To quality for honors in art history, students must fulfill all departmental requirements plus the following:

  1. Maintain a 3.5 grade-point average in the courses required for the art history major and a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average in the entire undergraduate program.
  2. Complete a six-credit honors program (usually in the senior year) during which they must complete a senior project. Art history students must enroll in two sequential three-credit courses, Honors in Art History. The senior project consists of either an extensive writing assignment on an approved topic or a museum studies project.