Program Philosophy

The Bachelor of Arts major in art history gives the undergraduate student an opportunity to study the visual culture of humankind from prehistoric times to the art of today and to understand the significant role played by visual communication in world societies.

Art historians develop skills in visual analysis, criticism, research, and writing that enrich life experiences and can lead to a variety of rewarding professional careers.

Unlike the studio BFA degrees at Herron, the art history major parallels a liberal arts program leading to the B.A. degree. Art history majors take 36 credit hours of surveys and seminars in their major field covering at least three of the following areas: ancient, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, American, world art, modern and contemporary art, and art theory. Majors must take at least 6 credit hours of studio art as well as a variety of core requirement courses in the humanities and sciences, including at least one foreign language. Specific requirements for the art history major are outlined later in this section.

The minor in art history enables students majoring in other areas to expand their knowledge of art history and gain valuable career-building experience. An art history minor takes 15 hours of art history credits from a variety of historical periods.

Art history can lead to a variety of careers, including the traditional professional paths of teaching and museum work as well as art conservation and restoration, historic preservation, architecture, art dealership, auctioneering and collecting, art criticism and journalism, advertising, filmmaking, exhibition design and preparation, historical research and writing, interior and commercial design, librarianship, independent consulting, and publishing. Art history also enriches the life of the practicing artist.

E-mail Jennifer Lee jenlee@iupui.edu to sign up for the Art History Listserv.