Art History Program Course Requirements


View Art History 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, 102 Introduction to Art History I, II (3, 3) 
  • 50:082:490 Art History Methodology (3)
  • 50:082:492 Independent Study in Art History (3)
  • 50:698: 205 Introduction to Museum Studies (3)

Plus a choice of one course from:

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


Select one from five of the following seven areas (5 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 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)
  • 50:082:303 Art of the Silk Road (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)
  • 50:082:340 Art in the Age of Discovery(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)
  • 50:082:340 Art in the Age of Discovery(3)
  • 50:082:351: European Art: 1780-1880 (3)
  • 50:082:352: European Art: 1880-1940 (3)

Modern and Contemporary

  • 50:082:200: Gender and the Arts (3)
  • 50:082:201: LGTBQ/Popular Culture (3)
  • 50:082:202 History of Design (3)
  • 50:082:214 Global Modern Art (3)
  • 50:082:216: Art of Film (3)
  • 50:082:238 20th Century Art (3)
  • 50:082:251: Modern Architecture (3)
  • 50:082:266 African-American Art (3)
  • 50:082:268 20th Century American Art (3)
  • 50:082:280 Art & Electronic Media (3)
  • 50:082:352 European Modern Art: 1880 to 1940 (3)
  • 50:082:353 Modern Art: 1940 to 1980 (3)
  • 50:082:354 Contemporary Art (3)
  • 50:082:380 History of Animation (3)
  • 50:082:381 Japanese Animation (3)
  • 50:082:383 History of Photography (3)
  • 50:082:395 Sculpture of the Twentieth Century (3)

Beyond the West 

  • 50:082:212 Japanese Art (3)
  • 50:082:213 Chinese Art (3)
  • 50:082:285 Art of Africa (3)
  • 50:082:286 Latin American Art and Culture (3)
  • 50:082:329 Precolumbian and Mesoamerican Art (3)


Electives 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 13; the total number of credits is 39 .

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.


6 credits from 50:082:101, or 102? Introduction to Art History I,II (3,3), or  50:082:104  Introduction to the Arts of Asia, (3) or 50:082:105  Cross-Cultural Art History (3)

12 credits of art history or museum studies, of which 6 credits must be at the 300 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.