Major & Minor Requirements

The Academic Catalog is updated each year; students should refer to the catalog that corresponds to the year in which they entered to identify the major requirements they should follow. Earlier catalogs may be found in the Catalog Archive. Students may opt to pursue a more recent set of major requirements with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.  

Requirements for the History of Art Major

History of art majors choose from a variety of courses on the world’s artistic and architectural traditions and are encouraged to pursue a curriculum that is both geographically and chronologically broad. They are also required to take an advanced course on the historical and conceptual bases of art history, and to demonstrate intermediate knowledge of a foreign language, which is an invaluable skill for art-historical research. A grade of C- or higher must be achieved for every course taken as part of the major; courses may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Full requirements are outlined below.

Introduction to Art History – 8 credits

  • AS.010.101 Introduction to Art History I – 4 credits
  • AS.010.102 Introduction to Art History II – 4 credits

Historical and Conceptual Bases of Art History – 3 credits

  • AS.010.413 Historical and Conceptual Bases of Art History – 3 credits
    • Note: Course should be taken within one year of declaring, ideally before senior year.

Five Advanced-Level Courses (010.2xx-4xx) – 15 credits (3 credits each)

  • One course in ancient art history – 3 credits
  • One course in medieval art history – 3 credits
  • One course in Renaissance / early modern art history – 3 credits
  • One course in modern art history – 3 credits
  • One course in any period – 3 credits
    • Note: At least one course must be at the 400-level

Students should consult with their faculty adviser and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies in choosing their courses, which should relate to at least two geographical and/or cultural contexts.

Three Additional Courses – 9 credits (3 credits each)

  • Only one of these elective courses may be at the 100-level
  • Elective courses must ordinarily be in the department or cross-listed with History of Art. Exceptions are at the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Intermediate Knowledge of a Modern Foreign Language – 3–14 credits

Proficiency is verified by completion of courses through the second semester of the intermediate level or higher.

Those planning to continue to graduate school in the history of art should discuss which language(s) to pursue with their adviser and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Total Credits: 38-49

Students should work closely with their faculty adviser and the Director of Undergraduate Studies to ensure all departmental requirements are met.

Requirements for the History of Art Minor

Students majoring in another department may minor in art history. Like their counterparts in the Major, students who are minoring in art history must earn a grade of C- or higher in all courses counted toward the curricular requirements. Courses may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Introduction to Art History – 8 credits

  • AS.010.101 Introduction to Art History I – 4 credits
  • AS.010.102 Introduction to Art History II – 4 credits

Four Advanced-Level History of Art Courses – 12 credits

  • (AS.010.2xx–4xx) – 3 credits each

Total Credits: 20

Honors Program in History of Art

For graduation with honors, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher in History of Art and successfully complete an honors thesis.

Honors Thesis

  • The honors thesis comprises a significant expansion and deepening of a paper in a 400-level seminar into a 2025 page paper, with figures, bibliography, and any appendices constituting additional pages.
  • Students pursuing honors must make a formal request to do so in conjunction with a proposed mentor via the Honors Thesis Form.
  • While writing the thesis, students enroll in the Honors Thesis course (AS 010.521, 3 credits). These credits are in addition to the normal major requirements and do not count as an elective or advanced course.