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Research. Appreciation. Interpretation.

The art history program offers an undergraduate B.A. degree, including introductory survey courses in the history of art and many other more specialized classes in all major periods of the western tradition. Some of our students know that they want to major in art history from the beginning, while others come to this discipline from the fine arts, design, or another major such as literature or social history, because art history supplements and enriches what they are learning in the studio, and because it appeals to their aesthetic imagination. This discipline provides a broad context and historical background for the making and study of art, allowing students to see how professional craftsmen past and present mirror the times in which they live. There are no prerequisites for our classes, and our students come from diverse backgrounds, with or without previous exposure to the visual arts.

VPA TV // Program Overview

Career Opportunities

Students majoring in art history are prepared to enter a variety of professional fields, often with additional training. They may decide to pursue their study of art history in graduate school, aiming to become future teachers, for which a doctoral degree is usually required. They may instead seek a career in art museums or arts administration, working in education, public relations, as installation designers, or in a museum’s curatorial department. Another possibility is to enter the business world, working in a gallery that buys and sells works of art. Still different career options are becoming an art librarian, or an archaeologist devoted to the study of ancient cultures.


We have good lecture spaces of various sizes, and the college humanities library carries many journals and holds numerous volumes on art-historical subjects, including rare books and medieval manuscript folios. The journals allow us to keep abreast of current scholarship in many aspects of art history and to be informed about current exhibitions in regional, national and international museums. Electronic media also give us access to museums’ art collections.