Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Degree Programs 

Art History

Program Overview

209 Art

Art history is the study of the creation, style, and meaning of works of art in relation to the artists and societies that created them. The history of art involves the interaction of styles, techniques, concepts, individual personalities, and social values from many places over long periods of time. This discipline is comparative in nature and requires many different skills, derived from the study of history and culture, foreign languages and literature, iconography, stylistic analysis, and connoisseurship.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
104 Art, Box 353440
(206) 543-0646
uaskart@uw.edu

The Division of Art History offers the following undergraduate programs:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Art History
  • A minor in Art History

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: ART H 201, ART H 202, ART H 203, ART H 204, ART H 205, ART H 206. Courses to enhance writing skills, and courses in history, literature, anthropology, classics, and foreign languages.

Department Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen and transfer students may declare an Art History major by scheduling an appointment with the Art History adviser on or after their orientation/registration date. Currently enrolled University students who wish to declare an Art History major must have a minimum 2.50 GPA and meet with the adviser anytime during the quarter except the first two weeks.

Admission Policy for Postbaccalaureate Applicants: Postbaccalaureate study in Art History is limited. Acceptance is competitive, based upon transcripts of prior college work and a School of Art supplemental information form.

Major Requirements

55 credits in Art History, including one course from each of the following four groups plus three 400-level Art History courses:

  1. ART H 201, ART H 202, ART H 290, ART H 340, ART H 341, ART H 342, ART H 343, ART H 361, ART H 366, or ART H 373
  2. ART H 212, ART H 214, ART H 215, ART H 310, ART H 311, ART H 312, ART H 313, ART H 314, ART H 315, or ART H 318
  3. ART H 205, ART H 206, ART H 230, ART H 233, or ART H 337
  4. ART H 203, ART H 280, ART H 381, ART H 382, or ART H 384

Minor

Minor Requirements: 30 credits of Art History courses, of which 15 must be upper-division courses. Minimum grade of 2.0 required in each course applied to the minor. At least 15 credits must be completed at the UW.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  1. Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Students studying in the field of Art History can expect to develop strong writing, research, analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Coursework is designed to allow students to comprehend the social, historical, ethical, and aesthetic significance of the visual realm that is our present environment and the heritage of many cultures. Art History graduates pursue careers in fields such as gallery and museum management, visual technology, teaching, arts administration, arts education, research, curating and restoration, interior design, and art and antique connoisseurship.
  2. Instructional and Research Facilities: None
  3. Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors). With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  4. Research, Internships, and Service Learning: The Art History program is based in the School of Art where majors work side by side with students studying in the studio arts. They have direct access to the Art Library, Media Center, Writing Center, a state of the art Computer Center, and three active art galleries. Classes are taught in rooms equipped with the technology needed to address all the issues and complexities of a visual culture. Many Art History classes are conducted at local galleries and museums where students receive first-hand knowledge of the visual arts. Enrichments outside the classroom include one quarter study abroad in Rome, opportunities to work one-on-one with faculty in research projects, and workshops and presentations by visiting artists and scholars.
  5. Department Scholarships: Art History majors compete each year for several major scholarships in the School of Art: Austin Award ($3,000), Marsh Scholarship ($3,000), and Milnor Roberts Award ($4,000). They are also eligible for smaller awards of excellence that range from $500 to $1,000. Applications are made in early April and scholarship winners are announced at the annual School of Art open house in late April.

    In addition to these awards, students are also encouraged to apply for the Nordstrom Research and Recognition Awards that support special projects, research, and professional development.

    The $2,000 Lockitch Graduating with Excellence Award is presented each year at the School of Art graduation celebration to the top undergraduate in Art History.

  6. Student Organizations/Associations: Art History majors have opportunities to serve on School of Art committees which include: Open House, Gallery, Graduation Celebration, Curriculum, Space, and Career Discovery Week.

Of Special Note: Art History majors anticipating graduate study should acquire a reading knowledge of French, German, Chinese, Italian, or Japanese.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
209 Art, Box 353440
(206) 543-4876
uwah@uw.edu

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor of Arts degree with major in the history of art, or equivalent coursework, with a minimum GPA of 3.00 or B average in Art History courses. Students in other majors may apply if they have a strong background in Art History.
  2. One copy of all academic transcripts (international applicants must submit two copies)
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Statement of professional objectives in the field
  5. Samples of the applicant's written work
  6. Graduate Record Examination scores (General Test)

Degree Requirements

55 to 65 credits, to include:

  1. 55 credits in the thesis track or 65 credits in the non-thesis track. Of these credits, a minimum of 45 credits in the thesis track or 55 credits in the non-thesis track must be numerically graded Art History courses numbered 400 and above, exclusive of thesis or practicum credits. A maximum of 10 credits in related fields, in numerically graded courses numbered 300 and above, may be approved for credit in place of Art History courses. No more than 12 credits of ART H 600 may be counted toward the minimum credit requirement for the Master of Arts degree.
  2. A minimum of 5 numerically graded credits each in four of five major areas: African or Native American; East Asian; Ancient, Classical, and Medieval; Italian and Northern Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo; or late eighteenth- to twenty-first-century Western.
  3. A minimum of 15 credits in 500-level seminars, in addition to ART H 500 and ART H 504, both of which must be taken within the first year of residence. At least one seminar each in a Western and a non-Western area.
  4. Knowledge of French, German, or Italian, or of Chinese or Japanese if appropriate. Degree candidates specializing in Native American art may substitute Spanish for French, German, or Italian. Candidates in the thesis track must, in addition, demonstrate knowledge in a second language appropriate to the student's area of study as determined by the faculty. Petitions to the Faculty Graduate Committee for exemption from the second language requirement are considered as warranted by the needs of different fields or projects. Language requirements may be satisfied by passing graduate proficiency examinations (available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish), or by completing the third quarter of the second year of French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, or other appropriate language as a graduate student at the UW with a minimum grade of 3.0. Students are expected to satisfy at least one of the language requirements no later than the first quarter of residence in the program.
  5. Students in the thesis track take 10 thesis credits in ART H 700 in preparation for the written presentation and oral defense of a thesis that demonstrates the ability to conduct rigorous research, familiarity with relevant sources, and a capacity for synthesis and critical evaluation; students in the non-thesis track take 10 practicum credits in ART H 598, a practical or theoretical program designed in conjunction with the faculty and defended by means of a final written report and oral examination.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

  1. Prior sound preparation in Art History at a general level, which usually means the Master of Arts degree in the history of art
  2. One copy of all academic transcripts (international applicants must submit two copies)
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Statement of professional objectives in the discipline
  5. Samples of written research work in Art History
  6. Graduate Record Examination scores

Graduation Requirements:

Minimum 90 credits, to include:

  1. 60 credits in numerically graded Art History courses numbered 400 and above, beyond the Master of Arts degree or equivalent, and exclusive of dissertation credits; maximum 20 credits in related fields in numerically graded courses numbered 300 and above may be approved for credit in place of Art History courses; minimum 10 credits in areas other than those tested by the general examination; at least 30 credits in 500-level seminars
  2. Knowledge of German, French, or Italian, or of Chinese or Japanese if appropriate; research capability in a second language judged appropriate to the student's area of study; knowledge of any other languages considered necessary by the faculty. Language requirements may be satisfied by passing graduate-proficiency examinations (available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish), or by completing the third quarter of second-year French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, or other appropriate language as a graduate student at the University with a minimum grade of 3.0
  3. General examination, written and oral, taken prior to enrollment for dissertation credits; this examination covers three specific fields of Art History chosen from the following general areas: African, Native American, Chinese, Japanese, Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and eighteenth century, Modern, and Contemporary; no more than two fields may be selected from the same area
  4. 30 dissertation credits in ART H 800 taken after the general examination in preparation and defense of the dissertation. These credits must be distributed over a minimum of three quarters
  5. Dissertation demonstrating original and independent investigation and achievement

Financial Aid

The Art History division offers certain scholarship funds, as well as teaching assistantships, for Art History graduate students. A small number of grants are awarded to outstanding entering students, but it is otherwise a policy to award financial aid and assistantships only to students who have completed at least one year of graduate study.