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,