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Art History

BA in Art History


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

  • A total of 120 credit hours 
  • 6 credit hours of college writing 
  • 3 credit hours of college mathematics or the equivalent by examination 

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 15 credit hours at the 300-level or above and at least 20 credit hours in residence at American University
  • Art history majors are advised to takes at least 12 credit hours in elective courses that complement their interests in art history from studio art, American studies, anthropology, history, literature, or philosophy, or a minor in one of these fields.
  • Students planning on graduate study in art history are advised to attain a reading of French, Itlaiian, or German to the intermediate level (or the equivilant of 12 credit hours at the college level). 

Course Requirements

  • ARTH-105 Art: The Historical Experience (3) 
  • ARTH 205 Art of the Renaissance (3)
  • ARTH-210 Modern Art: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (3)
  • ARTH-220 Introduction to the Arts of Japan (3)
  • ARTH-500 Approaches to Art History (3) 
  • 3 credit hours in ancient, medieval, or non-Western art history
  • 12 credit hours in courses in each of four periods: Renaissance/Baroque, modern European, American, and Asian art history
  • 9 credit hours at the 300-level or above, which may include 3 credit hours in ARTH-491 internship with departmental approval.
  • With approval of the art history advisor, two 3-credit courses taken through AU Abroad may be counted toward the major requirements.

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors, students must be admitted to the University Honors Program, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50, and receive grades of B or better in all University Honors course work. There are three levels of University Honors course requirements: Level I (100-200-level); Level II (300-level and above); and Level III (Honors Capstone Project). The department Honors coordinator advises students in the University Honors Program regarding requirements for graduating with University Honors in the major. For more information, go to the University Honors Program.


Combined BA and MA in Art History

Visit the BA-MA Webpage for information about receiving a combined BA and MA in Art History.