Majors & Minors

Art History Majors

Major requirements are designed to maximize exposure to a range of world art traditions, while allowing students to develop and refine their study of specific areas of interest. Working in dialogue with faculty advisers, majors plan programs that combine introductory lecture courses with smaller, more specialized colloquia and seminars. Foreign travel and education abroad can provide unparalleled opportunities for students to refine and extend their study of art, architecture, and archaeology. Department faculty enthusiastically encourage foreign study, and advisers work closely with students to integrate rigorous and rewarding study abroad experiences into their major.

There are no prerequisites for entry into the department, but most students declare a major in art history after taking one or both of the department's introductory survey courses (ARTH 1051 and 1052). While these courses are not required for majors, credit toward the major may be granted for one class at the 1000-level.

Major requirements

There are no prerequisites for entry into the department, and a major may be declared after completing one class in the major with a grade of C or above. The major in art history requires 11 courses, 10 of which must be above the 1000 level. Courses taken at any time during the student's career can be counted, including those earned while studying abroad, in summer session or in architectural history. By graduation, a student must have achieved a minimum GPA of 2.000 in major courses. (A student who does not maintain an average of 2.000 or better in departmental courses will be put on probation, and may be dropped from the program.) No course graded below C- may count for major credit.

Distribution Requirements

Comprehensive List  

At least one course at the 2000 level or above in 3 of 5 world regions [Africa and the Mediterranean; the Americas; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; Multi-regional (courses that substantially engage two or more world regions] and in 3 of 5 historical periods [up to 400 CE; 400-1400; 1400-1800; 1800-present; cross-period]; a minimum of two 4000 level seminars (either one ARTH 4051 and one ARTH 4591, or two ARTH 4591); and three electives within the department. One class at the 1000-level may be counted as elective credit. At least two of the non-seminar courses must be at the 3000 or 5000 level. Requirements may be fulfilled by appropriate courses in Architectural History at the 2000 level or above. One course in Arts Administration (ARAD) and one course in Studio Art at the 1000 level or above may count as electives. The University Museum Internship (ARTH 4951, ARTH 4952) may count as elective credit.

Advanced Placement (ap)/ International Baccalaureate (ib) courses:
One Advanced Placement (ap) Art History course with a score of 4 or 5 or International Baccalaureate (ib) Art History course with a grade of 6 or 7 may be applied toward the major. The course will transfer as either arth 1051 or 1052 and will count as elective credit.

Minor requirments

The minor program in Art History requires the completion of a minimum of 5 courses in Art History, consisting of courses beyond the 1000-level. Students take courses in 2 of 5 world regions [Africa and the Mediterranean; the Americas; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; and Multi-regional (courses that substantially engage two or more regions)]; and in 2 of 5 historical periods [up to 400 CE; 400-1400; 1400-1800; 1800-present; cross-period]. At least one of the courses must be at the 3000-level. One of the requirements may be fulfilled by an appropriate course in Architectural History at or above the 2000-level.

For those who declared the major before 2017

Major requirements

For a degree in art history, students must complete 11 courses (minimum 33 credits) in the department, 10 of which must be above the 1000 level. Courses taken at any time during the student's career can be counted, including those earned while studying abroad, in summer session, or in architectural history. By graduation, a student must have achieved a gpa of 2.000 in major courses. A student who does not maintain an average of 2.000 or better in departmental courses will be put on probation, and may be dropped from the program. No course graded below C- may count for major credit.

Distribution Requirements

At least one course at the 2000 level or above in each of five areas (Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, Modern, Non-Western); a minimum of two 4000 level seminars (either one arth 4051 and one arth 4591, or two arth 4591); and four electives within the department including up to one class at the 1000-level that may be counted as credit. At least two of the non-seminar courses must be at the 3000 or 5000 level. Requirements may be fulfilled by appropriate courses in Architectural History at the 2000 level or above. One course in Arts Administration (arad) and one course in Studio Art at the 1000 level or above may count as electives.

Advanced Placement (ap)/ International Baccalaureate (ib) courses:
One Advanced Placement (ap) Art History course with a score of 4 or 5 or International Baccalaureate (ib) Art History course with a grade of 6 or 7 may be applied toward the major. The course will transfer as either arth 1051 or 1052 and will count as elective credit.

Minor requirments

There are no prerequisites for a minor in art history. A student must complete 15 credits in the department, beyond the 1000 level. Courses taken at any time during the student's career may be counted toward the minor, including those earned while studying abroad or in summer session. At the time of graduation, a student must have achieved a minimum gpa of 2.0 in the minor courses.

Distribution Requirements

Minors must take at least one course in four of the five areas: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, Modern, and Non-Western. At least one course must be at the 3000-level or higher. One of the requirements may be fulfilled by an appropriate course in Architectural History at the 2000-level or above.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found here

New Declarations

Students who wish to declare a major or a minor in art history should contact the Department Office in Fayerweather Hall in order to be assigned an advisor.

Major declaration worksheet  

Minor declaration form  

To contact the Department Office, call 434 924 6123 or email

A list of faculty office hours is posted outside the department office in Fayerweather Hall and on the departmental website. Please complete the Major declaration worksheet or Minor declaration form prior to your advising meeting.


Director of the Undergraduate Program

Christa Robbins
309 Fayerweather Hall | 434 924 6123 |  email