Major in Art History
The Art History major requires ten courses, including one course in studio art. Majors are expected to take the two Introduction to Art History courses (ARTH 101-102) during the first two years, since these are designed both as historical surveys and as introductions to the discipline of Art History.
The major also requires four intermediate-level courses (ARTH 103-399) that focus on a range of historical periods, geographical or cultural regions, or selected themes. These courses should be selected to cover at least three of the four following categories: Ancient/Medieval; Renaissance/Baroque; Modern/Contemporary; and Non-European/American art. This distribution requirement is meant to ensure that all majors have a reasonable breadth of experience.
Finally, all majors take three advanced courses, usually 400-level Art History seminars. No courses taken abroad or outside of the department may count for this requirement. With permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, students may fill one of the advanced-level requirements with one of the following: an approved seminar in Art and Museum Studies (AMUS); a seminar in another department that is cross-listed with Art History; ARTH 470: Museum Internship; or ARTH 490: Senior Thesis (see below).
No more than three courses taken outside the Department of Art and Art History (for example cross-listed courses, study abroad courses, and transferred credits) may count toward the major in Art History.
Checklist: Required Courses for the Major
(10 courses, 30 hours)
A major in Art History consists of ten courses; nine in Art History, and one studio course. ARTH 101, 102 or an AP score of 4 or 5 are prerequisites for advanced courses.
- Two Introductory courses, ARTH 101, 102
- Four Intermediate (ARTH 103-399) courses from at least three of the following groups: Ancient/Medieval; Renaissance/Baroque; Modern/Contemporary; and Non-European/American art.
- Three Advanced (400 level) courses. At least two courses must be art history seminars. ARTH 470 (Museum Internship) or ARTH 490 (Senior Thesis) or an approved AMUS or cross-listed seminar may replace the third art history seminar with prior permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Courses at this level fulfill the Integrated Writing (IW) requirement.
- One Studio Art course
Senior Thesis for Majors: Enrollment in ARTH 490: Senior Thesis may be approved for interested seniors who have already taken a seminar and written a substantial research paper for a professor who agrees that it would be a suitable basis for development into a thesis. Students should consult with the professor well before preregistration for the fall semester of senior year in order to prepare a proposal and obtain the approval of the professor and the department chair. The student typically pursues substantial research and preliminary writing, in periodic consultation with the advisor, during fall semester of the senior year. The student registers for ARTH 490 in the final (typically spring) semester, which is dedicated to more intensive writing, meetings with the advisor, and completion of the thesis. Students wishing to submit their thesis for the Department’s annual Misty Dailey Award for a Research Paper in Art History need to complete the thesis by early April in order to meet the deadline for submissions. See guidelines here: Senior Thesis Guidelines
Minor in Art History
A minor in Art History consists of six courses in that discipline. It is possible to major in Art and minor in Art History, or vice versa. Minors who are not majors in either Art or Art History may take one course in the other discipline for credit toward the minor, with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. For Art History minors, at least four courses must be taken within the department.
Most Art History minors take the two Introduction to Art History courses (ARTH 101-102) and three or more courses beyond the introductory level. At least one of these should be on art mainly before 1600 and one on art mainly after 1600, so that the Art History minor represents a reasonable range of historical periods and styles. We aim for students to gain broad knowledge in art history, and encourage students to construct a minor that explores beyond a limited portion of art history. With permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, one of the elective courses may be a studio art course taught within the Department of Art and Art History.
No more than two courses taken outside the Department of Art and Art History (for example cross-listed courses, study abroad courses, and transferred credits) may count toward the minor in Art History.
Checklist: Required Courses for the Minor
- One course dealing with art before 1600
- One course dealing with art after 1600
- Four other art history or approved cross-listed courses. One elective may be an art course, with approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Advising for Majors and Minors
Students who consider majoring or minoring in Art History should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss requirements, plan their program, and determine a faculty advisor. Art History majors are assigned a faculty advisor in the department, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies advises Art History minors. Any member of the core faculty (Professors Acres, Bourland, Prelinger, and Wang) will be happy to work with you, although it is helpful to find an advisor with whom you are already studying. You may change advisors if your interests change. Please meet with your advisor at least once a semester, ideally during the preregistration period, to discuss your progress in the major or minor and internship and career planning. Contact information for the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Art History professors may be found under the “People” tab of the main menu on the Department of Art and Art History website.
Accelerated Degree for Art & Museum Studies MA Program
The Accelerated MA Degree in Art and Museum Studies allows undergraduate students in the Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences to apply for the equivalent of early admission into Georgetown’s Art and Museum Studies MA program, and to complete some courses for the degree during their senior year.
Third-year undergraduate students who have completed at least six credits of coursework in art history would apply for the accelerated degree in their junior year, with the approval of their advisor. The applications would be evaluated by the admissions committee, and the standards for admission would be the same as those for successful outside candidates. In order to apply, the student and advisor must verify that the requirements for the BA would be fulfilled by the spring of the senior year. If accepted, the student could enroll in the fall for up to two of the designated ARTH or AMUS courses above the 350 level to be double-counted as six credits both for the BA and toward the MA degree.
The student could take additional graduate-level work (if approved by professor) to count toward her or his undergraduate record, but this credit would not also count toward the MA. If the student has already met their requirement of 120 credits, along with all of the Core, and the requirements of major in order for a student to qualify for graduation, they could be approved to take one or more graduate courses which would only count toward the graduate record.
To see if this program is right for you, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Art History Professor Ian Bourland as well as the Program Director for Art and Museum Studies, Professor Lisa Strong.
Year 4 Fall (3 credits toward AB/MA) Spring (3 credits toward AB/MA; optional 6 credits toward MA)
- Museum Studies Foundations (AB/MA)* Museum Studies or Art History (AB/MA)
- Undergraduate elective (AB) Undergrad Elective (AB)
- Undergraduate elective (AB) Undergrad Elective (AB)
- Undergrad elective (AB) Art History Seminar (MA only)**
- Undergrad elective (AB) Second Masters Elective (MA only) **
Year 5 Fall (0 or 6 credits toward MA) Spring (12 credits toward MA)
- Museums Studies Sotheby’s Institute courses (12 cr.) or
- Museum Studies Internship Museum Studies courses (12 cr.)
Summer (6 credits)
- Capstone Internship
* course is double-counted to both degrees. ** courses could count towards the MA degree only, if the student has already completed 120 credits and 38 courses of undergraduate work.
AP Credit for Majors and Minors
For a score of 4 or 5, students will receive three credits (one course) and be excused from taking ARTH-101 and ARTH-102. Students with AP credit in Art History would be required to take an additional nine courses to complete the major, or an additional five courses to complete the minor. Only in unusual circumstances and with the approval of the department may an Art History major or minor with AP credit be permitted to take ARTH-101 or 102 for credit toward the major or minor. AP credit in Art History will not fulfill the core Humanities: Art, Literature and Culture (HALC) requirement.