Learning Goals

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).



  • 50:082:101  Introduction to Art History I (3)  
  • 50:082:102  Introduction to Art History II (3)  
  • 50:698:205  Introduction to Museum Studies (3) 

Select one from the following: 

  • 50:082:104  Introduction to the Arts of Asia (3)
  • 50:698:105  Cross-Cultural Art History (3) 

Select one from the following: 

  • 50:082:490  Art History Methodology (3) 
  • 50:082:492  Independent Study in Art History (3) 


Select one course from five of the following seven areas (five courses). Some courses fulfill distribution requirements depending on the specific material covered in that course in a particular semester. A partial list of these courses are: 50:082:305 Women in Art, 50:082:202 History of Design, 50:082:394 Learning Abroad, and 50:082:497-498 Special Topics in Art History. Consult with your adviser to determine what distribution area is covered when you register. Consult with your advisor to determine what distribution area is covered when you register: 


  • 50:082:109  Art and Archeology of Mediterranean (3) 
  • 50:082:206  Art of the Ancient Near East (3) 
  • 50:082:207  Art of Egypt (3) 
  • 50:082:208  Greek Art and Archeology (3) 
  • 50:082:209  Art of Ancient Rome (3) 
  • 50:082:303  Art of the Silk Road (3)


  • 50:082:203  Medieval Art and Culture (3)
  • 50:082:320  Art of the Middle Ages (3) 


  • 50:082:204  Renaissance Art (3) 
  • 50:082:313  Renaissance Art of Northern Europe (3) 
  • 50:082:333  Italian Renaissance Art (3)


  • 50:082:340  Art in the Age of Discovery (3)
  • 50:082:210  Art of Power 17th & 18th Century Europe (3)
  • 50:082:349  Golden Age Dutch Art (3) 

18th – 19th Centuries 

  • 50:082:214  Global Modern Art (3)
  • 50:082:237  19th Century Art (3) 
  • 50:082:267  American Art: 1650-1990 (3) 
  • 50:082:351  European Art: 1780-1880 (3) 
  • 50:082:352  European Paintings: 1880-1940 (3) 

Modern and Contemporary 

  • 50:082:200  Gender and the Arts  (3)
  • 50:082:201  LGBTQ/Race and Popular Culture (3)
  • 50:082:202  History of Design  (3)
  • 50:082:238  Twentieth-Century Art (3)
  • 50:082:251  Modern Architecture (3)
  • 50:082:266  African-American Art (3)
  • 50:082:280  Art and Electronic Media (3)
  • 50:082:332  African-American Art (3)
  • 50:082:352  European Paintings: 1880-1940 (3)
  • 50:082:353  Modern Art: 1940-1980 (3)
  • 50:082:354  Contemporary Art (3)
  • 50:082:361  Art of Film (3)
  • 50:082:368  Twentieth-Century American Art (3)
  • 50:082:380  History of Animation (3)
  • 50:082:381  Japanese Animation (3)
  • 50:082:382  History of Graphic Design (3)
  • 50:082:383  History of Photography (3)
  • 50:082:395  Sculpture of the 20th Century (3)            

Beyond the West  

  • 50:082:212  Japanese Art (3) 
  • 50:082:381  Japanese Animation (3)
  • 50:082:213  Chinese Art (3) 
  • 50:082:285  Art of Africa (3) 
  • 50:082:229  Art of the Americas (3)
  • 50:082:286  Latin American Art and Culture (3) 


An elective may be drawn from any 200-level or higher Art History course not already counted in the Distribution Requirements.  Students may also use any Museum Studies courses. Students are encouraged to add an election from Studio course offerings to gain hand-on experience with making works of art.  

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.



  • 3 credits (one course) from either 50:082:101, or 102 (Introduction to Art History I, II) or  50:082:104 (Introduction to the Arts of Asia) or 50:082:105 (Cross-Cultural Art History)
  • 15 credits (five courses) of art history at the 200-level or higher



Program Director: Professor Cyril Reade 

The museum studies minor is for students majoring in art, art history, history 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. 

  • 50:082:101 or 102 Introduction to Art History I or II, or 104 (Introduction to the Arts of Asia (3), or 50:082:105 Cross-Cultural Art History (3), or equivalent course from major field  
  • 50:698:205 Introduction to Museum Studies I (3)  
  • 50:698:408 Individual Study in Museology (3-6)  
  • 50:698:409 Museum Internship (BA)  


  • 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.