B.A. in Art History

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in art history is a 30-credit-hour major. In addition to the one course university requirement, the major in art history is 10 courses. Of these, the only requirements regard varying the course level at which you take classes: 2 at the 20000-level; 4 at the 30000-level or above; and 1 at the 40000-level. The other three are up to you. There are no requirements on how any of the courses are distributed. Instead, your advisor will help come up with an individualized curriculum that corresponds to your own interests and goals. This means that art history is a major which you design for yourself. Every art history major has his or her own distinctive curriculum. Many majors especially seek out classes with field trips to museums. It also means that art history is a maximally flexible major, and hence one that is extremely easy to combine with other programs.

In addition, the Department offers a 33-credit honors track (admission by permission) which requires the completion of a 6-credit senior thesis. The thesis, normally between 20 and 30 pages in length, is done under the direction of one of the regular art history faculty. It is expected to demonstrate the student’s ability to treat an important art historical topic in a manner that shows his or her writing skills and methodological training. It is expected that the thesis will be suitable for submission as a writing sample for students intending to apply to art history graduate programs. Learn more about the Department Honors Program in Art History

It is strongly recommended that the four-course distribution requirement be fulfilled with 200- or 300-level introductory courses taught by regular art history faculty on campus.

Art History - First Major

30 Total Hours

  • 2 ARHI courses at the 20000-level
  • 4 ARHI courses at the 30000-level or above
  • 1 ARHI 40000-level course
  • 3 ARHI elective courses at any level

Art History electives and seminars may be taken in any period.

Art History - Supplementary Major

Students with a first major in another department can complete a supplementary major in art history.

24 Total Hours

  • 2 ARHI courses at the 20000-level
  • 4 ARHI courses at the 30000-level or above
  • 1 ARHI 40000-level course
  • 1 ARHI elective courses at any level


The Department also offers a 15-credit hour minor which includes 2 at the 20000-level, and 3 at the 30000-level or above. 
Courses taken for the supplementary major or the minor cannot be counted in more than one university program but may be used to fulfill the University Fine Arts requirement.

More information on the Bachelor of Arts in Art History

** Only one course (three credits) in Art History taken in a foreign program, exclusive of the Rome Program, may be counted towards fulfilling the major or minor requirement. This course may only be used as an “Option.” If a student participates in a full-year Foreign Study program (e.g. Angers and Bologna), then up to 6 credits may be counted towards the major. These will normally be considered as “Options.”