Art History

Art History shows you the world. Whether it is an ancient temple in Corinth, Greece, or a desert landscape reinterpreted by Georgia O’Keeffe, the subtle hatching of an Old Master drawing or the brilliant stained glass of a Gothic cathedral, art history explores past and present cultures in light of contemporary intellectual, social, and artistic issues.

Notre Dame’s art history major balances a broad overview of Western art with focused and in-depth knowledge of particular periods, issues, and research methods. Sub-fields of study include Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque, and Modern & Contemporary art history. Our diverse and strong faculty bring their own research and passion into the classroom and encourage students to supplement lectures and discussions with invaluable hands-on experience at the Snite Museum, the Special Collections in Hesburgh Library, or the South Bend Regional Museum of Art.

Both the 30-hour (10 courses) first major and the 24-hour (8 courses) supplementary major are designed for students who wish to pursue a career in a museum or gallery, for those who seek to continue their studies in a graduate program, or for those who simply want to deepen their knowledge of civilizations and cultures through the examination of their most beautiful, provocative, and powerful creations. Our program also offers a 33-hour (11 courses) honors degree which gives the exceptionally well-prepared student the opportunity to write a senior thesis.

A minor in art history requires 15 hours (5 courses), one of which must include material prior to 1600, and one of which must include material from 1600 to the present.

Notre Dame also offers our majors a unique opportunity to earn a combined B.A./M.A. degree in only five years.  Apply now.

Degrees Offered Include 

Current and upcoming courses offered


Director of Undergraduate Studies, Emily Beck, for general questions about the various Art, Art History & Design programs.
If you have specific questions about Art History, feel free to contact a faculty member directly. 

Questions about art history? General questions can be sent to, or, you can contact Director of Undergraduate Studies Emily Beck.