Department of Art

Department of Art + Design,
Art History, Art Education

Art History Major

art history student install gallery show, student taking notes

Art History is an interdisciplinary field of study that incorporates history, the arts, literature, philosophy, and science and technology, depending upon career choices. The Art History major is for those students who want to work in the curatorial, educational, public relations or registration areas of a museum or gallery or who wish to go on to graduate school in the art history field. It is also for students who plan to pursue careers in art conservation, museum exhibition preparation and exhibition design. Students select one of two concentrations in Art History: 1) Research only or 2) Research/Studio after completing a common core. Students are encouraged to participate in internships in area institutions.

Most students who plan to go on to graduate school in Art History choose the Research concentration while students planning on a career in the gallery or conservation fields often choose the Research/Studio concentration. Both options require the two-course capstone experience: Research Methods in Art History and Seminar in Art History. In both of these options, advanced research skills, knowledge of the use of technology in both research and presentation, and developed writing skills are required. The optional Honors thesis also allows students obtaining the required grade point average to pursue an individual research project with an individual faculty adviser which will result in the thesis.

Both concentrations within the Art History major require a common core of 15 credits (including two 200-level prerequisites for the 300-level courses). The Research concentration requires 36 credits beyond the common core; the Research/Studio concentration requires 51 credits beyond the core.

Learning goals for Art History include:

  • Students will demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the history of art, including artists, titles, and dates of key works, as well as knowledge of the broader artistic circumstances from which those works emerged, and of the interrelationship of those circumstances.
  • Students will demonstrate visual literacy (the ability to interpret the visual, formal aspects of an artwork) in the perception and discussion of art.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the cultural contexts from which art has emerged.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the cross-cultural and multicultural interaction that has influenced the development of artistic forms throughout the history of art and up to the present day.
  • Students will prepare for career fields specific to art history, such as teaching, curatorship, and preservation.
  • In written and oral work, students will demonstrate general skills associated with a liberal-arts education, such as the ability to find relevant sources, to use Chicago Manual or MLA guidelines or other well-established criteria in correctly formatting and citing information, to structure writing and presentations in a clear and logical manner, and to provide specific examples when necessary.

Art History Minor

art history details


Department of Art + Design, Art History, Art Education
Center for the Arts, Room 3103 (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: 410-704-2808
Fax: 410-704-2810


Art History students install the exhibition, A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Arts Symposium in the Center for the Arts Gallery.



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