Requirements for a B.A. in Art History

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Students pose for a group photo in front of a cathedral in Spain

Because the history of art is engaged in problems of historical analysis and the interpretation of culture, it provides students with a broad background in the humanities consistent with a liberal arts and sciences education. The undergraduate degree program is designed to prepare students for competitive placement in graduate schools across the country. As students progress through the program, they become familiar with historical relationships between art objects and society, learn techniques of formal analysis, study patterns of patronage, and absorb methods for interpreting the meaning of paintings, sculptures, and buildings. In the course of their studies, art history majors develop their research abilities and writing skills.

Art History majors are required to take 45 s.h. of required art history courses (three specified survey courses, three intro courses, five upper-level courses, and ARTH:4999 History and Methods, as well as 6 s.h. of studio art courses. All B.A. candidates are limited to no more than 56 s.h. from one department toward the 120 s.h. required for the degree. If you take more than 56 s.h. of art or art history, it will not count toward your graduation requirements.

No more than 56 s.h. of credit from the School of Art & Art History may be counted toward the 120 s.h. required for the Bachelor of Arts degree. If you have a minor or major in Studio Art in addition to your Art History Major, then you can exceed 50 semester hours in art courses, but you must have at least 56 semester hours in non-art courses to obtain a B.A. in Art History. Art History majors are required to meet with their faculty advisor every semester prior to registration for the next term.

1. All of the following courses must be completed:

  • ARTH:1050 From Cave Paintings to Cathedrals (3 s.h.)
  • ARTH:1060 From Mona Lisa to Modernism (3 s.h.)
  • ARTH:1080 Writing About the Visual Arts (3 s.h.)

2. One of the following courses:

  • 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.)

3. Courses to be chosen by the student:

  • Three intro courses, ARTH:2010-ARTH:2920 (3 s.h. each)

Note that the above requirements should be completed prior to taking Art History courses from the following sections.

4. ARTH:4999 History and Methods, 3 s.h.

Note that the above seminar is only offered in the fall semester.

5. Upper-level art history courses:

Choose five upper-level courses, ARTH:3000-ARTH:4941 (3 s.h. each)

6. 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 Exploring Forms in Clay 1 (3 s.h.)
  • DRAW:2310 Life Drawing (3 s.h.)
  • DSGN:2500 Graphic Design 1 (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 1 (3 s.h.)
  • PNTG:2410 Painting 1 (3 s.h.)
  • PRNT:2610 Introduction to Printmaking (3 s.h.)
  • SCLP:2810 Undergraduate Sculpture 1 (3 s.h.)
  • TDSN:2210 Problems in 3D Design (3 s.h.)

These requirements for the Art History major are also synopsized on the attached checklist:

Art History BA Degree Checklist

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.