Bachelor of Arts in Art History

The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History reflects the belief that a traditional liberal arts program, supplemented by travel, is the best preparation for students who wish to teach the history of art at the college level or work in museums and galleries. Our bachelor’s program develops skills in critical looking, thinking and writing to prepare students for work in today’s professional art world.

Undergraduate students do not specialize in any particular area (such as Renaissance or modern), but instead first acquire a general knowledge of the global history of art from ancient times to the contemporary moment in History of Visual Arts I and II. Then, surveys introduce students to the current state of the field in the areas of specialty of each faculty member.

Area surveys taught at the USF Tampa campus include African, American, European, Middle Eastern, and Asian art from the medieval period to the present. Courses in Greek and Roman art are available at the USF St. Petersburg campus.

All art history majors are required to take at least one 4000-level non-Western Art History course. Courses in areas such as history, philosophy, and literature are recommended as electives, both to supplement to undergraduate courses in art history and as a background for future graduate work.

Art history majors are also required to take courses in studio art as a means of better understanding the art-making process. After these introductory courses, small writing-intensive seminars involve students in independent research, exposing them to a variety of art-historical topics and methodological approaches. Classes in other, complementary disciplines are recommended as electives.

Finally, coursework can be supplemented by international travel and study abroad programs sponsored by the School of Art & Art History. It is important that students make every effort to travel to major museums in the United States and, if possible, abroad.

For non-majors interested in studying art history, learn more about the minor in art history or the undergraduate certificate in art history.