Requirements for the Major:
Art History majors take twelve courses, including six 100 or 200 numbered courses which must include three of the four cultural areas: The Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East/Central Asia; four 300 or 400 numbered courses. Art History majors also take two Studio Art courses. Students planning to do a two-term senior thesis should take a 300 or 400 numbered seminar (preferably a WAC) in the junior year; while those not doing a thesis may take 300 or 400 WAC/WS numbered seminar in the senior year to fulfill the WS (senior writing requirement). Majors concentrating in Art History are encouraged to begin or continue the study of at least one foreign language at Union.
To pursue a senior thesis, Art History majors must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 overall and 3.3 in their Art History concentration. The student must have successfully completed a junior qualifying paper (“B plus” or above) in the context of an upper-level (300’s or 400’s) Art History course, which will be reviewed by the thesis advisor. Art History majors who intend to write a two-term thesis must present a topic proposal and obtain approval from an Art History thesis advisor by spring term registration of the junior year. Because thesis requirements vary between departments, all interdepartmental majors must consult with both major departments before planning to write a senior thesis. One term of thesis can count towards the upper level course requirements.
Requirements for Honors in Art History:
To qualify for departmental honors, a student must fulfill the following requirements: (1) cumulative grade point average of 3.3; (2) a grade point average of 3.3 in the Art History concentration; (3) successful completion of a two-term senior thesis (“A” or “A-minus”); (4) approval by a second faculty reader; (5) an oral presentation at The Steinmetz Symposium in the spring term of senior year; and (6) a copy of the thesis must be left with the department’s collection and archives. Having fulfilled the above, the student must then be nominated by the department for honors. Further guidelines for the senior thesis and departmental honors are available from the Art History faculty.
Union offers a studio fine arts concentration with a recommended sequence of courses for students who plan to apply for graduate school in architecture as well as related fields of historic preservation, landscape architecture, and urban planning. While graduate schools in these areas don’t require a specific major, a thorough and strong Studio Art portfolio is essential and greatly enhanced by specific course work in engineering, art history, math, and science. Those interested should consult any of the studio advisors as early as possible for specific details. Advisors: Professors Benjamin, Duncan, Orellana; Senior Lecturer Wimer
Course Selection Guidelines
Placement: Incoming first-year students who score a 4 or 5 on the AP exam in Art History may receive credit for one of the 100 or 200 numbered introductory Art History courses. Students who plan to major or minor in Art History are nonetheless encouraged to take the introductory courses as a way of deepening their backgrounds.
100-numbered courses: These courses are introductions to the study of Art History. They cover specific geographical and broad historical periods. Many are cross-listed or approved for credit in other disciplines or interdisciplinary programs. These courses are suitable for first-year students, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and many of them carry General Education LCC credit. They also may serve as the prerequisites for many 300 and 400 numbered courses.
200-numbered courses: These courses are introductions to subfields within Art History. They may be medium-specific or thematic, and will facilitate learning across cultures. They are designed to be introductory and do not carry prerequisites. Many are cross-listed or approved for credit in other disciplines or interdisciplinary programs. These courses are suitable for first-year students, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and many of them carry General Education LCC credit; two currently carry SET credit.
300-numbered courses: These courses concentrate on specific historical periods, geographic regions, or themes. They generally have prerequisites drawn from the 100 or 200 numbered Art History courses. These courses are generally suitable for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Some 300 numbered courses may require prerequisites.
400-numbered courses: This will be a rotating seminar taught by different faculty or with a different topic on occasion. It is designed for majors in their junior and senior years, and will involve advanced work in a specific topic or theme.
Internships, Independent Studies, and Thesis: These courses are generally reserved for advanced Art History students, who must consult with the Art History program and arrange for academic sponsorship prior to registering for them.