Because the department emphasizes the historical, cultural, and social context of art, art history is an excellent program for undergraduates interested in a humanistic education as well as for those preparing for a career in the field. A departmental adviser assigned to each undergraduate major helps plan individual courses of study. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate fully in all departmental activities.
During their course of undergraduate study at Johns Hopkins, majors in the History of Art will:
1. Develop the foundational skills needed to engage in the critical study of works of visual art, including painting, graphic media, and photography; sculpture and the plastic decorative arts; architecture and environmental art; and aspects of new media in contemporary art. Methods of close observation and description of works are cultivated to serve as building blocks toward historically situated interpretations of artistic form and meaning.
2. Acquire a broad-based familiarity with the main currents of European, Mediterranean, and North American art history from the ancient to the modern period.
3. Gain experience with works of art beyond the classroom, through museums, special library collections, and on-site field trips.
4. Acquire a working familiarity with the terminology, textual sources, theoretical discourses and historiography informing the visual arts and architecture throughout its history.
5. Develop the skills necessary for effective, cogent, reasoned communication and self-expression, both oral and written, in the critical study and interpretation of art.
6. Develop an appreciation for the rigors of scholarly research, writing, and argumentation, as well as the importance of language training, required for advanced research beyond the bachelor's degree.
Requirements for the B.A. Degree
The undergraduate will learn about European art and the methodology of art history. Students begin their work with the introductory survey, 010.101-102 Introduction to the History of European Art, and then deepen their knowledge by taking seven advanced courses: one Ancient, one Medieval, one Renaissance/Baroque, and one Modern in addition to three additional advanced level classes. A secondary field consisting of three courses outside art history is developed with the undergraduate adviser. Students must acquire an intermediate-level knowledge of French, German, or Italian and must demonstrate this proficiency either by the successful completion of two intermediate-level courses or, on special request, by departmental examination.
Minor in the History of Art
Students majoring in another department may minor in art history by completing the introductory survey and one course in each of the following periods: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, and Modern as well as two additional, advanced level courses in any History of Art subfield or period.
A listing of courses offered through the Department of the History of Art appears below. For additional information on academics at Johns Hopkins University, including information on departments and programs of study, calendars, and admissions information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions page of JHUniverse.
For a complete listing of undergraduate courses in the History of Art, download the course catalog descriptions here (PDF).
For a listing of the current semester course offerings see the schedule of classes.
To view more detailed course descriptions, Courses listed here may not be offered every semester. If you would like to see our current offerings, please see the department's listings on the ISIS Course Schedule search page.