College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Iowa Idea Track
In the 1920s, the groundbreaking "Iowa Idea" of bringing artists and scholars together in an academic context was born at the University of Iowa. The Iowa Idea became the model for numerous art and art history programs across the nation, training artists and art historians within a united studio and liberal arts environment. In 1940, Iowa became the first university to award the Master of Fine Arts degree, and in the same year, Elizabeth Catlett was the first African-American woman to receive the M.F.A. The Iowa Idea eventually led to the inception of the famous Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
The Iowa Idea track to the Art History major requires 33 s.h. of coursework in art history and 6 s.h. of coursework in studio art.
1. All of the following courses must be completed:
- ARTH:1050 From Cave Paintings to Cathedrals: Survey of Western Art I (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:1060 From Mona Lisa to Modernism: Survey of Western Art II (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:1080 How to Write About Art (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:4999 Capstone Seminar in Art History (3 s.h.)
2. At least two art history courses numbered ARTH:2000 through ARTH:2999.
3. At least four art history courses numbered ARTH:3000 through ARTH:4998.
4. At least two art history courses in non-Western areas (e.g. African, Asian, Islamic, Native American) from the following:
- ARTH:1040 Arts of Africa (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:1070 Asian Art and Culture (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:1095 Native American Art (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:2120 Art and Architecture of the Islamic World (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:2220 Introduction to the Art of China (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:2250 Introduction to the Art of Japan (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:2330 Introduction to Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Art (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3103 Art of the Pacific Islands (3 s.h.) *
- ARTH:3120 The Art of Ancient Mexico (3 s.h.) *
- ARTH:3150 Art of West Africa (3 s.h.) *
- ARTH:3151 Art of Central Africa (3 s.h.) *
- ARTH:3160 Themes in African Art (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3220 Chinese Art and Culture (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3225 Contemporary Art and Culture in China (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3230 Chinese Painting I: Pagodas and Palaces (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3250 Brushwork in Chinese Art (3 s.h.) *
- ARTH:3255 Copy and Paste: Methods of Reproduction in Asian Art (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3260 Japanese Painting (3 s.h.) *
- ARTH:3270 Themes in Asian Art History (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3275 Garden Culture in East Asia (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3280 The Materialization of Sexuality in China and Beyond (3 s.h.) *
- ARTH:3320 Egyptian Art (3 s.h.)
- ARTH:3325 Kings, Gods, and Heroes: Art of the Ancient Near East (3 s.h.)
(Courses listed with asterisks are not currently being offered)
5. Two studio courses:
These courses can be taken prior to completing the Art History coursework in sections 1-3 above.
- ARTS:1510 Basic Drawing (required prior to second studio course; 3 s.h.)
Choose any additional studio course from the following:
- ARTS:1520 Design Fundamentals (3 s.h.)
- CERM:2010 Ceramics I: Handbuilding (3 s.h.)
- DRAW:2310 Life Drawing I (3 s.h.)
- DSGN:2500 Graphic Design I (3 s.h.)
- INTM:2710 Introduction to Intermedia (3 s.h.)
- MTLS:2910 Introduction to Jewelry and Metal Arts (3 s.h.)
- PHTO:2600 Photography I (3 s.h.)
- PNTG:2410 Painting I (3 s.h.)
- PRNT:2610 Introduction to Printmaking (3 s.h.)
- SCLP:2810 Undergraduate Sculpture I (3 s.h.)
- TDSN:2210 Problems in 3D Design (3 s.h.)
The Bachelor of Arts with a major in art history requires a minimum of 120 s.h., including 39 s.h. of work for the major. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. They also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.
Students may count a maximum of 56 s.h. earned in art and art history courses toward the degree; they must earn at least 64 s.h. of credit in courses outside the School of Art and Art History in order to graduate.
B.A. students with a double major in the school (e.g., a major in art history and a major in art) or a major and a minor in the school (e.g., a major in art history and a minor in art) must earn at least 56 s.h. of credit in courses outside the School of Art and Art History in order to graduate.
Note that the requirements can and do change as deemed necessary by the School. However, once you have begun your program, your requirements will not change. Always refer to your degree audit as the official record of your requirements.