Department of Art & 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 each student’s skills in writing, analytical and critical thinking, close observation, and verbal communication, 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 three-semester (9 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.

Note: Honors Art History Survey Courses (ARTS 1717, 1727, and 1737) may also be used to fulfill the coursework in the Art History curriculum.


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
Emily Burns
18th–19th-Century Art / Asian Art
Joyce de Vries
Renaissance and Baroque Art / The Mediterranean
Kathryn Floyd
Modern and Contemporary Art / African Art
Karen Sonik
Ancient and Medieval Art / The Mediterranean

Additional Resources

Department of Art & Art History Advisors
CLA model of the Art History Curriculum
Department of Art & Art History Courses

Last Updated: January 15, 2021