Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Art History
The required courses in visual art and culture (CLAR 209) and the survey of art history (VA 201 and VA 202) are designed to provide the student with a basis in the history and methods of the visual arts. It is expected that students will take these courses in their first (or no later than their second) year.
The courses satisfying the distribution in art history are designed to give the student an opportunity to examine particular topics in art history in more depth. These courses are selected by the student and should be taken in the second and third years.
The concentration in visual studies enables students to select which of a variety of “tracks” they prefer to focus upon in their study of visual art and culture. It is recommended that the student discuss their intentions with faculty to make the best selection for their interests and aspirations. These courses should be taken in their third and fourth year.
The senior requirements ensure that the student has delved into some of the theoretical and critical issues involved in the field (VA 401. Art History: Advanced Seminar) and has the opportunity to pursue a project of their own design under the guidance of a faculty mentor (VA 402. Art History: Capstone Project).
The following table summarizes all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in arts history. For an overview of a particular course, click on its title. Our Course Descriptions page lists all visual arts courses. For one possible breakdown of the art history major by semester, see the Plan of Study.
* The School of Arts and Sciences requires all majors to complete a foreign language course at the 202 level or higher. Students not prepared to begin at this level will need to take additional courses in the language, which count as general electives.
† The Clare College curriculum also includes a three-credit quantitative reasoning requirement. Art History majors satisfy this requirement by passing any of the courses listed in the above table under Mathematics.
Distribution in Art History
A student majoring in art history takes one course from each of the following five groups, for a total of five courses (fifteen credits). These courses should be taken in the student's second and third years.
Group 1: Ancient-Medieval Art (choose one course)
Group 2: Renaissance-Romantic Art (choose one course)
- AHIR 310. Italian Renaissance Art History
- AAH 214. The Art of Florence
- AAH 318. History of Italian Art II
- AAH 230. Fresco Painting in Italy
Group 3: Modern-Contemporary Art (choose one course)
Group 4: Non-Western Art (choose one course)
Group 5: Studio Art (choose one course)
Concentration in Visual Studies
Art history majors have their choice of nine concentrations in visual studies, which are listed below. To complete a particular concentration, a student takes three courses (nine credits) from those offered for that concentration. It is recommended that the student discuss their intentions with faculty to make the best selection for their interests and aspirations. The courses for a student's concentration should be taken in the student's third and fourth years.
Track 1: History of Art (choose three courses)
Track 2. Image and Culture (choose three courses)
Track 3: Film and Photography (choose three courses)
Track 4: Museum Studies (choose three courses)
Track 5: Image and Design (choose three courses)
Track 6: Art and Religion (choose three courses)
Track 7: Art Theory and Criticism (choose three courses)
Track 8: Science of Images (choose three courses)
Track 9: Studio Creation and Technique (choose three courses)