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
World Art and Civilization Before 1400
World Art: 1400 to Now
Art and Civilization in East Asia
Introduction to Art in South Asia
Architect and History
Television and New Media
World Film History to 1945
World Film History 1945-Present
Eye, Mind, and Image
Methods Seminar
ARTH 300Undergraduate Methods Seminar1
Select 2 course units of any 300 or 500-Level Seminar2
Chronological Distribution
Select one 200-level or higher course from each time period 23
Geographic Distribution Areas
Select 1 course unit of Islamic, South Asian, East Asian, African, Native American, Oceanic Geographic Area course at 200-level or higher1
Additional Courses in History of Art
Select 4 course units of Electives4
Total Course Units33


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

ARTH 398Senior Thesis (First Semester)1
ARTH 398Senior 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 2021 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.