Academic Planning: Art History

The top 5 things to consider when planning a major in art history

  1. ArtH 1101 (Interpreting the Visual World), ArtH 1111 (Ancient to Medieval Art), and ArtH 1121 (Renaissance to Modern Art) are required courses. Take these as early as possible. If the course closes before you can register for it, please contact the faculty member for a possible permission number.
  2. Plan to fulfill the Studio Art requirement as early as possible so that you are better able to understand the technical processes of artmaking in different artistic mediums as you study art. We require a total of 8 credits of Studio Art courses, spread out among different media. We highly recommend the 1000-level Studio Essentials sequence to enable you to get the strongest foundation in this area.
  3. As you take your Art History elective courses, combine exploration and concentration. As you explore, be sure to take at least one elective class from each of the Art History faculty, aiming for a well-rounded understanding of Art History. Please note that Art History minors are limited to two 2000-level electives (or 8 credits), and Art History majors are limited to three 2000-level electives (or 12 credits).
  4. We strongly advise students to take more than the minimum requirement of a foreign language and if at all possible, to spend some time abroad, studying art and/or traveling and looking at art. Depending on the field of study, many graduate programs in Art History require reading knowledge of Spanish, Italian, French, and/or German, so those languages are especially recommended. Other programs or professions may place more value on non-European languages. In all cases, studying another language is a plus!
  5. We do not pressure students to do double majors, but many of our majors choose to do so. It is a possibility worth considering. Art History combines well with many other fields, including Studio Art, History, Anthropology, English, even Biology. A double major can greatly deepen your understanding of art and culture. Combining Art History with another discipline can also make you more attractive to graduate schools and employers as it demonstrates a broader skill set and a stronger ability to engage with ideas in different fields of knowledge.