IUPUI 2014-2016 » Schools » Herron School of Art and Design » Undergraduate » Degree Programs » BA in Art History


B.A. in Art History
Herron School of Art and Design offers both a major and a minor in art history. 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 art in societies worldwide. The minor in Art History enables students majoring in other areas to expand their knowledge of Art History and gain valuable career-building experience.

Unlike the studio BFA degrees at Herron, the BA in Art History parallels a liberal arts major program leading to the BA 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 and medieval, Early Modern (Renaissance through Neoclassicism), Modern (1800-1950), Post 1950, World Art, and Art Theory, analysis & criticism. The 36 credit hours in art history include the following types of courses: introductory level surveys at the 100-level, designed to introduce students to the broad sweep of art history over time; 300-level lecture/discussion courses intended to provide in-depth examination of particular periods and topics; and 400-level seminars that bring together small groups of upper-level students to engage in research on specialized topics. The seminars are limited to enrollments of no more than 15 students so that each student has the opportunity to actively participate in research, discussions, and presentations under the mentorship of the instructor.

In addition, 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.

Through the study of Art History, students develop skills in key areas: visual analysis, critical thinking, research, and writing. These abilities enhance visual literacy, enrich life experiences, and provide a foundation for a variety of rewarding career opportunities. Fields such as teaching, museum work, 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, art librarianship, consulting, and publishing can build on an education in Art History. Art history also enriches the life of the practicing artist.