Art History Degree Requirements

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, as well as in all art-related fields. A focus in art history can be combined with the minor or courses in Museum Studies (see Museum Studies 698).


B.A. degree Requirements 


All courses listed are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated 

Select two from the following:  

  • 50:082:101  Introduction to Art History I   
  • 50:082:102  Introduction to Art History II 
  • 50:082:104  Introduction to the Arts of Asia 
  • 50:698:105  Cross-Cultural Art History 


  • 50:082:490  Art History, Theory, Method  


Select one course from 5 of the following 6 areas.  

Some courses fulfill distribution requirements depending on the specific material covered in that course in a particular semester. Consult with your advisor to determine what distribution area is covered when you register. A partial list of these courses is:  

  • 50:082:200 Gender and the Arts
  • 50:082:202 History of Design  
  • 50:082:305 Women in Art  
  • 50:082:394 Learning Abroad  


  • 50:082:206  Art of the Ancient Near East  
  • 50:082:207  Art of Egypt  
  • 50:082:208  Greek Art and Archeology  
  • 50:082:209  Art of Ancient Rome  
  • 50:082:303  Art of the Silk Road 

Medieval& Renaissance 

  • 50:082:203  Medieval Art and Culture 
  • 50:082:204  Renaissance Art  
  • 50:082:313  Renaissance Art of Northern Europe 
  • 50:082:320  Art of the Middle Ages 
  • 50:082:333  Italian Renaissance Art 

17th – 19th Centuries  

  • 50:082:210 Arts of Power: Seventeenth & Eighteenth Century Europe 
  • 50:082:237  Nineteenth Century Art  
  • 50:082:267  American Art 
  • 50:082:340  Art in the Age of Discovery  
  • 50:082:349  Golden Age of Dutch Art   
  • 50:082:351  European Art: 1780-1880   
  • 50:082:352  European Modern Art: 1880-1940   

Design & Media 

  • 50:082:202  History of Design   
  • 50:082:280  Art in an Age of Mechanized and Electronic Media  
  • 50:082:316  Art of Film  
  • 50:082:380  History of Animation 
  • 50:082:381  Japanese Animation 
  • 50:082:382  History of Graphic Design  
  • 50:082:383  History of Photography 

Modern & Contemporary  

  • 50:082:214  Global Modern Art  
  • 50:082:238  Twentieth Century Art  
  • 50:082:251  Modern Architecture  
  • 50:082:352  European Modern Art: 1880-1940  
  • 50:082:353  Modern Art: 1940-1980 
  • 50:082:354  Contemporary Art  
  • 50:082:368  Twentieth-Century American Art  
  • 50:082:395  Sculpture of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries  

In & Beyond the West 

  •  50:082:200  Gender and the Arts   
  • 50:082:201  LGBTQ/Race and Popular Culture 
  • 50:082:212  Japanese Art 
  • 50:082:213  Chinese Art   
  • 50:082:229  Art of the Americas  
  • 50:082:266  African American Art 
  • 50:082:285  Art of Africa   
  • 50:082:286  Latin American Art and Culture   
  • 50:082:305 Women and Art  
  • 50:082:329 Pre-Columbian and Meso-American Art 


An elective may be drawn from any 200-level or higher Art History or Museum Studies course not already counted in the Distribution Requirements, including 50:082:491 Individual Study in Art History. 
Students are encouraged to add an elective from Studio course offerings.   

The total number of required courses in the Art History concentration is 11; the total number of credits is 33.

Note: Students intending to pursue graduate study in art history are strongly encouraged to pursue the museum studies minor (see Museum Studies 698). In addition, students should take the equivalent of four semesters of college-level courses in a foreign language, usually French or German, and should strongly consider participating in the art history honors program in their senior year. Because works of art express the ideas of the culture of which they are a part, the study of art history is strengthened by a knowledge of archaeology, cultural anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, religion, urban studies, and other related disciplines. In consultation with their advisers, students should select appropriate languages and courses in related subjects.


50:082:497 & 498 Honors in Art History I & II is a two-semester independent research project on a specific topic, leading to an honors thesis written under the supervision of a member of the art history faculty. 
Prerequisites: Candidates for honors in art history must, at the end of their junior year, have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or better, and an average of 3.5 or better in the major. Both semesters’ courses must be completed to receive credit in honors.