The bachelor of arts in art history degree is designed to provide the undergraduate student with a broad comprehensive knowledge of the history of world art. In art history courses the student learns the major masterpieces of world art and how to distinguish different period styles in art. In the pursuance of the BA degree, the student acquires skill in thinking critically about artworks.
Our program provides the student with the knowledge of art history required for employment in related fields, such as art librarianship, K-12 art instruction, and museum and gallery work. Students interested in pursuing a career in the fields of museum curatorial work and university-level teaching will need to continue studies at the graduate level. Recipients of the Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Alabama have been accepted into the graduate programs of City University of New York, Emory University, Kansas University, Texas University, Florida State University, University of Alabama, and many other institutions of higher learning.
The major in art history requires 33 hours of art history courses, including six hours selected from ARH 252, ARH 253, and ARH 254 and at least 12 hours in advanced courses numbered 300-level or above. ARH 252 and ARH 253 provide the student with a broad knowledge of the history and development of Western art from prehistory to the present. ARH 254 Survey of Asian Art prepares the student to take upper-division courses in the area of Asian art. The remaining 27 hours of required art history hours are selected from courses offered by the department in the areas of Ancient, Renaissance, Baroque, 19th-century, 20th-century, and Asian art. The courses listed in the course catalog are offered on a rotating basis usually at least once every other year. A minimum of 12 hours at the 300- or 400-level must be earned on this campus. The 400-level art history classes are undergraduate seminars designed especially for the advanced art history major.
In addition to these requirements, the major in art history requires a total of 6 hours in introductory studio art courses. The studio art courses familiarize the student with the basic techniques and methods of art production. The student is encouraged to choose from ART 110 (Drawing I), ART 130 (Design I), ART 131 (Design II), ART 210 (Drawing II), ART 302 (Color Theory), ART 310 (Figure Drawing), and ART 311 (Figurative Modeling).
The art history major also requires two years of university-level study or equivalent proficiency in French or German. French and German are the preferred languages because they are required by most MA and PhD programs in art history, including the MA program of The University of Alabama. Any other language taken to fulfill the art history requirements must be approved by the art history faculty of the Department of Art and Art History.
A student majoring in art history must declare a minor outside of the department. A student cannot major in art history and minor in studio art , but it is possible to double major in art history and studio art with a minor declared outside of the department. Recommended minors include French or German, or another language, as well as English, history, religion, anthropology, and American studies. In general, the student should choose a minor that compliments the art history major. Students interested in pursuing a career in arts administration may wish to minor in business or advertising. Because the minor requirements vary by department, the student should check the catalog before declaring a minor.