The Art History program offers a curriculum in practical, analytical, and historical aspects of architecture, sculpture, painting, printmaking, photograph, and the decorative arts.

Each of these arts comes out of a creative process which, like language, has developed as an expression of human ideas, emotions, and life conditions. The history of these arts is a visual record of the evolution of human societies, and gives a valuable introduction to different world civilizations.

Art History courses train students how to be educated and critical consumers of visual culture, which is a crucial skill in our image-saturated world. Images have meaning going back to historical and cultural precedents and values, and shape how people think about their world. Students who major in art history learn how to do research, to synthesize and analyze information, and to write about concepts and ideas. These critical thinking skills are crucial to today’s workforce, and give students flexibility to move across many industries such as marketing, information and library science, and museum work.

What Will I Learn?

  • Develop ability to identify and understand works of art and stylistic trends in major genres, periods, and cultural traditions of visual expression.
  • Appreciate the social, historical, and cultural contexts for both visual expression and responses to art and articulate that understanding.
  • Describe, research, analyze, and interpret works of art by applying different art historical methods.
  • Put learning into practice through internships, research outside the classroom, field trips, and museum trips.
  • Connect art history to the theory and practice of fields such as science, architecture and urban planning, design, literature, and philosophy.
  • Plan and mount exhibitions through understanding of art collections and institutions, including writing didactic and promotional materials.

Full list of Art History program goals can be found on the Hub for Teaching and Learning site.

 

Visit the University Catalog:

Learn about degree requirements and coursework for the Art History major and minor.

Learn about degree requirements and coursework for the Applied Art minor.

Learn which Dearborn Discovery Core requirements are fulfilled by taking Art History courses.

Making the Most of Your Major

There are opportunities to develop skills and connect with others interested in philosophy beyond the classroom. Check out the Art History Major Map to get a more detailed, year-by-year view of how you can learn, engage, network and transform your community and prepare for life after graduation.

Get Involved

Join the Art History Association to organize activities like field trips, film screenings, and campus fundraisers. Be an officer in Art Club. Become a SI (Supplementary Instructor) in Art History to tutor and mentor other students. Explore all UM-Dearborn student organizations on VictorsLink.

Get Real World Experience

Internship opportunities are available for Art History students.  Past placements include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Toledo Museum of Art, Cranbrook Museum of Art, the Henry Ford Museum and Estate, and at other major arts institutions and galleries. This program offers professional experience in the field of Art History and Museum Studies.

Every Art History major is required to complete research projects in two capstone seminars: Art History 400 (Senior Seminar in art-historical research methods), and Art History 410 (Museum Practice Seminar I). 

Conduct research through an Independent Study. Opportunities for students to present the results of their research are available each year at the Meeting of Minds conference and at the conference of the Michigan Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Plan for Life After Graduation

Art History prepares students with the skills necessary in the modern workplace. Work a Humanities/History internship into your schedule to gain professional experience. Career Services offers assistance with job searching, resumes, interviews or graduate school applications.

General Program Information

Students may elect one of two concentration tracks in Art History: Art History - Track A; and Museum Studies - Track B. The concentration programs offer the student a broad humanistic education within the context of an undergraduate degree; and prepare the student for graduate work in academic, museum or commercial fields.

Track A - Art History

Prerequisites (9 credit hours)

Students concentrating in Art History are required to take the following prerequisites:

  • Art History 101: Western Art to 1400 (3 credit hours)
  • Art History 102: Western Art since 1400 (3 credit hours)
  • Art History 103: Arts of Asia (3 credit hours)

Concentration Requirements (33 credit hours total)

Required Distribution (21 credit hours)

One course from each of the following areas (15 credit hours):

  • Asian / Non-Western
  • Ancient / Classical
  • Medieval
  • Renaissance / Baroque
  • Modern

Also required (6 credit hours):

  • Art History 400: Methods Seminar (restricted to junior or senior status) (3 credit hours)
  • Art History 410: Museum Practice Seminar I (3 credit hours)
Electives (6 credit hours)

Two-upper level Art History Courses

Cognates (6 credit hours)

One Applied Art course (ART 201, 204, 206, 306, 321, 322, 323 or 324) and one upper level course in a cognate discipline of Humanities and the Social Sciences. The discipline advisor must approve selections. Courses with strong interdisciplinary orientation are recommended.

Portfolio

Papers from three upper-division ARTH courses.  See Art History advisor for details.

Foreign Languages

Although competency in a foreign language is not required for the concentration, a reading proficiency in French and/or German is extremely important for anyone planning to pursue the study of Art History. Most graduate programs in Art History require at least two foreign languages.

Track B - Museum Studies

Prerequisites (9 credit hours)

Students concentrating in Museum Studies are required to take the following prerequisites:

  • Art History 101: Western Art to 1400 (3 credit hours)
  • Art History 102: Western Art since 1400 (3 credit hours)
  • Art History 103: Arts of Asia (3 credit hours)

Concentration Requirements (33 credit hours total)

Required Distribution (21 credit hours)

One course from each of the following areas (12 credit hours):

  • Asian / Non-Western
  • Medieval/Classical
  • Renaissance / Baroque
  • Modern

Also required (9 credit hours):

  • Art History 400: Methods Seminar (restricted to junior or senior status) (3 credit hours)
  • Art History 410: Museum Practice Seminar I (3 credit hours)
  • Art History 411: Museum Practice Seminar II (3 credit hours)
Electives (6 credit hours)

Two-upper level Art History Courses

Cognates (6 credit hours)
  • HUM 485: Internship (3 credit hours)

One upper-level course selected from the of the following (3 credit hours):

  • Organizational Behavior 354: Behavior in Organizations
  • Journalism and Screen Studies 330: Feature Writing
  • Communications 360: Social Media for Public Relations
  • Communications 420: Critical Media Studies
  • Communications 460: Public Relations Campaigns
  • Psychology 4305: Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Portfolio

Papers from three upper-division ARTH courses.  See Art History advisor for details.

Art History student video

Art History Major
I don't see [Art History] as limiting...there's so much you can do with it!
Nicholas Pobutsky, Art History

CASL Digital Image Collection

The College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters digital image collection contains over 31,000 images for teaching and research.  The CASL site is part of the MLibrary Image Collection and can be accessed here.  The collection is part of the MLibrary Image Collections, Digital Image Collections.

Help instructions specific to the CASL collection can be accessed here.

Department Contact Information

Department of Literature, Philosophy, & the Arts 
3011 CASL Building
313-593-5433

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