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Art History plays a formative and sustaining role in the development of the modern concept of art. We believe that art history enriches and deepens our students’ involvement with art by providing them with necessary critical and analytical skills. In the first year, Foundations in Art History consists of a series of half-semester courses taken in three categories: Non-Western, Ancient to Baroque and Modern/Contemporary. We believe that all courses at all levels of university education serve as points of access.


Foundation courses introduce students not only to the history of various periods and places but also to basic methods of doing research and writing about art. 


At the sophomore level, BFA and BS in Art History and Theory students are required to take Art of Our Time, a course built around presentations of and discussions around issues relevant to the contemporary art world. 


Students in upper division classes study the history of art in a more focused manner by examining works organized according to a specific culture, time period, movement, topic, or medium.


Resources and Facilities  


     The Art History facilities include smart classrooms and seminar rooms and a research space in Harder Hall. The curriculum is enhanced through opportunities provided by the three distinct exhibition spaces within the School of Art and Design as well as the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum. The Scholes Library offers an extensive collection of materials and a digital image database. Scholes Library has an unparalleled collection of materials on ceramic art, science, engineering and technology, as well as extensive holding in photography, sculpture, art history, glass art, electronic media and other areas of art and design. Learn more about Scholes Library.  Alfred Ceramic Art Museum is a teaching and research facility whose study collection affords hands-on appreciation of both contemporary and historical pieces. Learn more about the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum.

The Major

Admission to the Art History and Theory Program, which is part of the School of Art and Design, requires a general application and a portfolio review that will ensure each student’s ability to meet the challenges of both academic and studio education. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Art History and Theory is a four-year, professional degree. It is designed to instill an understanding of artistic developments in global historical contexts, to provide students with the critical and theoretical tools necessary for becoming productive professionals, and to prepare them for the pursuit of graduate studies in the field. In accordance with this mission, the program includes substantial studio experience as well as extensive academic learning and research.

Possible Careers in Art History



Museum Curator


Gallery Owner


Arts Administrator


Art Critic


Antiques Dealer

Collection Manager 




Film Producer

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