History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

BA in Art History

As a liberal arts discipline, art history emphasizes the analysis of visual data in a historical context. The bachelor's degree in art history prepares students for graduate study in art history as well as for professional work.

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see the Academic Policies section of the catalog.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

Students must fulfill all requirements for bachelor's degrees, including Mason Core requirements. Students pursuing a BA in art history must complete additional college requirements for the BA degree in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students pursuing this degree must complete 33 to 34 credits within the major, with a minimum GPA of 2.00.

All art history majors are encouraged to pursue internships in art history (ARTH 393) in their junior or senior year. Up to 6 credits in art history internships may be applied toward ARTH requirements for the major, with permission of the art history undergraduate director.

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program. A maximum of 6 credits of ARTH 398 - Study Abroad in the History of Art may be applied to the major with permission of department. Students contemplating graduate study in art history should acquire a reading knowledge of French, German, or other appropriate research languages in consultation with an advisor.

One survey course (3 credits) chosen from:

ARTH 200 - History of Western Art I

ARTH 201 - History of Western Art II

ARTH 203 - Survey of Asian Art

ARTH 204 - Survey of Latin American Art

One museum course (3 credits)

ARTH 394 - The Museum

Five courses (15 credits) in ARTH at the 300 level

In addition to ARTH courses, art history majors may use one 300-level HIST course to fulfill this requirement.

Two elective courses (6 credits) in ARTH at the 400 level chosen from:

ARTH 400 - Historiography and Methods of Research in Art History (Topic Varies)

ARTH 420 - Advanced Studies in Ancient Art

ARTH 430 - Advanced Studies in Medieval or Islamic Art

ARTH 440 - RS: Advanced Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art

ARTH 460 - RS: Advanced Studies in 20th-Century European Art

ARTH 471 - Advanced Studies in Art of the United States

ARTH 472 - RS: Advanced Studies in 20th-Century Latin American Art

ARTH 474 - Advanced Studies in Contemporary Art

ARTH 482 - RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art

ARTH 495 - RS: Objects and Archives in Art History

ARTH 499 - Advanced Studies in Art History

One course (3 or 4 credits) in art and visual technology chosen from:

AVT 103 - Introduction to the Artist's Studio

AVT 104 - Two-Dimensional Design and Color

AVT 222 - Drawing I

AVT 232 - Painting I

AVT 243 - Printmaking I

AVT 252 - Fundamentals of Photography

AVT 253 - Introduction to Digital Photography

AVT 262 - Sculpture I

AVT 392 - Gallery Practices

One elective course (3 credits)

 Students choose an elective from any art history course.

Total: 33 to 34 credits

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated as "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in art history fulfill the university's writing-intensive requirement by successfully completing any 400-level ARTH course.


Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

Degree Total: Minimum 120 credits

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