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museum major

Museums Concentration

Art History Major with Museums Concentration

The Museums Concentration is designed for students with a special interest in museums, either as cultural institutions or potential workplaces. 

This track allows you to gain some of the practical and analytical skills required by museum professions, ranging from curatorial and administrative positions to jobs in conservation, education, collections management, design, public relations, and marketing.

The Concentration requires an art-world internship and a core of courses that explore the ethics and practices of museums.

Twelve courses (minimum 37 credit hours)

Four (4) core courses

  • ARTHIST 101 and ARTHIST 102, the foundational Art History courses
  • Either ARTVIS 111 or ARTVIS 112, Foundations in Art Practices, or another Visual Arts course
  • ARTHIST 282, Introduction to African Arts & Museums, or an equivalent course
Seven (7) elective courses, including
  • One course in each of the four regional–historical divisions:
    1. Ancient Mediterranean art & architecture (Egypt, Greece, and Rome)
    2. Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art & architecture
    3. Modern and contemporary art & architecture (after 1800; global)
    4. Arts & architecture of Africa, Islam, Asia, and the indigenous Americas
  • One 400-level seminar, which may also satisfy the regional-historical distribution requirements, above.
  • Three (3) courses at the 300 level (or above), which may also satisfy the regional-historical distribution requirements, above.
  • Two (2) courses with a museum focus, generally topics courses in Art History that focus on museum collections or practices, conservation, or the history of collecting. Eligible courses will be determined each semester and designated in the Course Atlas as appropriate for the concentration.
One museum-related practicum, either
  • An approved internship (ARTHIST 397), for at least two (2) credit hours
  • or Supervised Reading & Research (ARTHIST 398), for at least two (2) credit hours

Up to two (2) of the maker and materials courses may count as electives toward the major. These courses include ARTHIST 103, Understanding Architecture; ARTHIST 104, Great Buildings; ARTHIST 210, Introduction to Computer-Aided Design; ARTHIST 212, Intro to Digital Art History; ARTHIST 387, Issues in Art Conservation; and ARTHIST 388, Technical Art History.

The Small Print

Internship: The department’s Internship Coordinator oversees this component of the program and determines whether the proposed internship is appropriate for the Museums Concentration. To earn 2 credit hours, a student must work 6 hours per week for 14 weeks (one semester).

Students may also satisfy this requirement with a pre-approved internship held during the summer. They must submit a 5-page report to the Internship Coordinator, together with a letter from the internship supervisor attesting to the work completed. In this case, students must still complete at least 37 credit hours in Art History.

Independent study: If a student elects to satisfy the practicum with a directed study project, the topic must be approved as appropriate for the Museums Concentration. No more than three (3) hours of Supervised Reading and Research (ARTHIST 398) may be applied to the Major.

Pass/fail: No more than one course taken S/U may be applied to the major. To satisfy the requirements for the major, seminars (400-level courses) must be taken for a letter grade.

Study abroad: Up to two (2) courses completed in approved study-abroad programs may be used to fulfill elective requirements for the major; students may petition the department to allow a third.

Honors: Honors students are required to take one graduate-level seminar, which may be used to fulfill a requirement for the major (though not the Continuing Writing Requirement for the GER). The Honors course itself, ARTHIST 495, does not count toward the major.


Rev. 7.17.20