History of Art, BA

The Major in the History of Art seeks to deepen students’ knowledge of artistic production and practice over the scope of human history, as well as to broaden awareness of the critical and interpretive aims of the discipline itself. Students develop skills in the analysis of works of art, sharpen their understanding of the social, cultural, and personal values embodied by works, and explore the relation of art history to other disciplines. The Department particularly encourages a broad geographic understanding of art production and encourages students to consider the relations and distinctions among different visual cultures.

Students are strongly advised to make an appointment each semester to discuss their progress through the major with the undergraduate chair. Majors are also encouraged to achieve an advanced level of French, German, or other languages as relevant to their subject interests. During their senior year majors may pursue independent research by writing an honors thesis and are invited to become regular participants in the department colloquium series.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 33. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
General Surveys
Select 2 course units of the following:2
Attribute AHAS - ARTH Survey
World Art before 1400
The Artist in History,1400-Now
Art and Civilization in East Asia
Art of Global Asia
Architect and History
World Film History to 1945
World Film History 1945-Present
What is Modern Art?
Eye, Mind, and Image
Introduction to Queer Art
Methods Seminar
ARTH 3000Undergraduate Methods Seminar1
Select 2 course units of any 3000 or 5000-Level Seminar2
Chronological Distribution
Select one 2000-level or higher course from each time period 23
Ancient (Attribute AHAA - ARTH Ancient)
Medieval/Renaissance (Attribute AHAR - Medieval/Renaissance)
Modern (Attribute AHAM - ARTH Modern)
Geographic Distribution Areas
Select 1 course unit of Islamic, South Asian, East Asian, African, Native American, Oceanic Geographic Area course at 2000-level or higher1
Geographic Non-Western (Attribute AHAG - ARTH Geographic Non-Western)
Additional Courses in History of Art
Select 4 course units of Electives4
Elective (Attribute AHAE - ARTH Elective Major/Minor)
Total Course Units33

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Double counting between geographic and chronological requirements is not allowed.


Application for Honors is by petition. Please consult with the Undergraduate Chair.

ARTH 4980Senior Thesis (First Semester)1
ARTH 4980Senior Thesis (Second Semester)1
Total Course Units2

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.