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Department of Art & Art History
Art History

BA in Art (Formal Option in Art History)

The BA in Art (Formal Option in Art History) prepares students for advanced studies in art history (MA or PhD) as well as careers in museums, galleries, auction houses and other cultural institutions. The major also puts significant emphasis on developing skills in writing, analytical and critical thinking, close observation and verbal communication, not only necessary tools for art historians, but also useful training for students who wish to pursue careers in communications, law, education, business and medicine.


The Art History curriculum exposes students to a global history of art, from the ancient period to the present, and to a wide range of interpretive and historical methods. Students complete a two-semester (6 hour) survey of global art, followed by an advanced course (3 hours) in each of the following four areas of art history: Ancient and Medieval Art, Renaissance and Baroque Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, and Non-Western Art. Students also complete 15 additional hours of advanced courses and seminars of their choosing. The curriculum culminates in a Senior Capstone (3 hours) in which students study art historical methodology and prepare a significant research paper and public presentation.


Art History students are also encouraged to gain professional experience through internships at local, regional and national arts institutions. Recent students in the Department of Art & Art History have been selected for prestigious internships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Phillips Collection, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Art History Faculty

Katherine Arpen
18th–19th-Century European Art / South Asian Art

Joyce de Vries
14th-17th-Century European Art / The Mediterranean

Kathryn Floyd
Modern and Contemporary Art / African Art

Karen Sonik
Ancient and Medieval Art / The Mediterranean

Studio Art Lab/Materials Fee

The Department of Art & Art History charges a studio art lab/material fee of $100 per course for all studio art courses (ARTS courses designated STU in the AU Bulletin). This fee will partially defray the cost of materials supplied to students enrolled in studio courses, such as canvas, clay, glazes, inks, metal, photo chemicals and wood; and the maintenance and replacement of studio equipment, like cameras, enlargers, kilns, presses and printers.

Additional Resources

Department of Art & Art History Advisor
CLA Model of the Art History Curriculum
Department of Art & Art History Courses


Minor in Art History

The Minor in Art History is ideal for students who wish to supplement any major area of study with the visually and intellectually stimulating study of art and visual culture. Minors develop numerous transferable skills including writing, research, critical thinking, visual analysis and verbal communication. These are skills invaluable in professions as diverse as law, medicine, communication, business, and museum and gallery work.


Students who minor in Art History complete the two-semester Foundations of Art History course as well as three additional advanced art history courses of their choice:

2100 Foundations of Art History I  (3 credits)
2150 Foundations of Art History II  (3 credits)
3/4000-level Art History (3 credits)
3/4000-level Art History (3 credits)
3/4000-level Art History (3 credits)

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the Art History Minor.

Note: If a course has been used to fulfill any other university requirement, it cannot be used to complete a CLA minor. Please see your minor advisor for details.

Additional Resources

Department of Art & Art History Advisor
CLA Model of Art History Minor
Department of Art & Art History Courses
Minor Declaration Form