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Art History

Art History (BA)

Offered by the Department of Art, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires satisfactory completion (grades of C or better) of 12 credit hours of art history courses and departmental approval.

University Requirements

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

  • 39 credit hours with grades of C or better including a minimum of 24 credit hours at the 300-level or above and at least 20 credit hours taken in residence at American University.
    • Art history majors are advised to take at least 12 credit hours in elective courses that complement their interests in art history from studio art, American studies, anthropology, history, literature, music, or philosophy, or a minor in one of these fields.
    • Students planning graduate study in art history are advised to attain a reading knowledge of French, Italian, or German to the intermediate level (or the equivalent of 12 credit hours at the college level).
    • With approval of the art history advisor, two 3-credit courses taken through AU Abroad may be counted toward the major requirements.

Course Requirements

Required (18 credit hours)

Upper-level Electives (18 credit hours)

  • 18 credit hours at the 300-level or above in Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, modern European, contemporary, and/or Asian art history

3 credit hours from the following:

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors in the major through the University Honors Program, students must meet the requirements detailed on the Honors website and have been enrolled as either a first-year student between Fall 1989 and Spring 2014, or as a transfer or self-nominated student through Spring 2015. The University Honors Program should not be confused with the AU Honors Program, which begins in Fall 2014 and has separate requirements, also detailed on the Honors website.

Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.