Art history is an object-based cultural history founded on the premise that artifacts embody and reflect the beliefs and values of the persons who made, commissioned and used them. Because these objects can only be fully understood within the social, economic, political and religious contexts in which they were produced and used, art history requires the critical analysis and interpretation of other historical sources to illuminate these contexts, making art history inherently interdisciplinary. A minor is also offered.

Students who major in art history often pursue careers as curators, and in art litigation, conservation and galleries.

What You'll Study

  • The art history major consists of one introductory and nine upper-level courses. As an art history major, you'll choose one of two concentrations:

    • the History of European, American or African art, in which courses must include at least one in each of the four historical periods–classical, medieval, Renaissance/Baroque and modern–and at least one in the areas of either African or Asian art; or

    • the History of Asian art, in which courses must include five Asian art history courses–one of which must be a seminar–and at least one course in the European, American or African traditions. Majors concentrating in the history of Asian art should strongly consider taking at least one course outside the department dealing with the history or culture of pre-modern Asia.

  • Because English represents a minority language in art history, as a major you'll be required to demonstrate proficiency in at least one foreign language.

Minor Requirements

  • To complete the minor, students must take six required credits, including five courses in four of the following five areas: classical, medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, modern and non-Western. The minor does not require study of a foreign language,