Art History

Major: Art History
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS)

Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 180.0-184.0
Co-op Options: One Co-op (Four years)

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 50.0703
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 25-4011

About the Program

The history of art explores the meanings, values, and purposes of the visual arts within the historical cultures that create them. Works of fine and applied arts are understood not merely as aesthetic forms, but as expressions of the social, economic, scientific, religious, and political contexts that gave rise to them. The study of art history thus effectively serves the high purposes of a liberal education by equipping students with an understanding of world cultures and their histories from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and by encouraging the development of critical thinking, reading, research, and writing skills.  

The art history program has a uniquely flexible curricular design in that it permits students to pursue art history as either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The BA degree is intended for students wishing to become professional art historians or who wish to supplement the art history curriculum with other courses leading to a specific career path. The BS degree is designed to allow students to combine the art history major with another major or to tailor the curriculum to their specific interests and aspirations. Both the BA and BS degrees require a total of 180.0-184.0 credit hours.

Bachelor of Arts

The BA degree requires 60.0 credit hours of art history, 71.0-75.0 credit hours of General Education courses, and 49.0 credit hours of Free Electives. The BA degree requires a strong component of Arts and Humanities courses in order to prepare students to enter the professional world of art historians by exposing them to critical reasoning, philosophy, anthropology, literature, world cultures, and foreign languages. The 49.0 credit hours of Free Electives can be used under faculty advisement to take additional art history courses, develop special competencies and areas of interest (e.g., race and gender studies; the histories of technology, science and philosophy; Asian or Africana studies; writing, literature, and criticism; design history; museum studies, etc.), or gain competencies in various applied or technical areas. This BA program requires two 3-month co-ops.

Bachelor of Science

The BS degree also requires 60.0 credit hours of art history, but it only requires 35.0-39.0 credit hours of General Education courses, thereby freeing up 85.0 credit hours of coursework to accommodate another major or to design a personalized curriculum. The 85.0 credit hours of free electives provided by the BS degree permits the student to simultaneously pursue a second major, one or more minors, or simply explore the life of the mind by taking courses, with faculty advisement, in diverse fields. This program does not require a co­‐op taken in addition to that which is required by the second major.

Degree Requirements (BA)

General education requirements
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
Mathematics and Natural Science12.0
ENGL: Western Literature Elective3.0
ENGL: Non-Western Literature Elective3.0
Required Arts and Humanities-students elect a minimum of 6 credits6.0
HIST 161Themes in World Civilization I4.0
PHIL 101Introduction to Western Philosophy3.0
PHIL 105Critical Reasoning3.0
Select one of the following:
HIST 162Themes in World Civilization II4.0
or HIST 163 Themes in World Civilization III
Foreign Language12.0
Social Sciences6.0
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Diversity3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
PSCI 120History of Political Thought4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Electives *46.0
Art History requirements
ARCH 141Architecture and Society I3.0
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
ARTH 150Art History Research Methods3.0
ARTH 200Principles and Methods of Art History3.0
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
ARTH 301Asian Art and Culture3.0
ARTH 31320th Century Art3.0
or ARTH 314 Contemporary Art
ARTH 325Ancient Greek and Roman Art3.0
or ARTH 327 Italian Renaissance Art
ARTH 477Art History Seminar3.0
VSST 100Introduction to Art & Design3.0
or VSST 107 Introduction to Design for Media
or VSST 110 Introductory Drawing
Art History Electives select 8 courses from the following24.0
Media Arts & Design
Art in the Age of Technology
History of Costume I: Preclassical to Directoire
History of Costume II: Directoire to World War I
History of Costume: Post World War I to Present
Film History I: Emergence
Film History II: New Waves
Film History III: Trends
History of Photography I
History of Photography II
Graphic Design: 20th Century and Beyond
Western Art: Ancient to Modern
Early American Art
Medieval Art
Northern Renaissance
Art of the 17th and 18th Centuries
Modern/Contemporary/Theory/Criticism
Twentieth Century American Art
Nineteenth Century Art
Contemporary Art
African-American Art
Modern Art Theory and Criticism
Asia, Africa, Latin America
Art of India
Art of China
Art of Japan
African Art
Advanced Course Work
Art History Senior Thesis
Special Topics in Art History
Special Topics in Art History
Independent Study in Art History
Independent Study in Art History
Architecture
Architecture and Society II
Architecture and Society III
Architecture and Society IV
History of Modern Architecture I
History of Philadelphia Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Total Credits180.0

Degree Requirements (BS)

General Education requirements
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Mathematics and Natural Science12.0
Arts and Humanities Requirement6.0
Required Social Sciences-students elect a minimum of 6 credits6.0
Free Electives85.0
Art History requirements
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
ARCH 141Architecture and Society I3.0
ARTH 150Art History Research Methods3.0
ARTH 200Principles and Methods of Art History3.0
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
ARTH 301Asian Art and Culture3.0
ARTH 31320th Century Art3.0
or ARTH 314 Contemporary Art
ARTH 325Ancient Greek and Roman Art3.0
or ARTH 327 Italian Renaissance Art
ARTH 477Art History Seminar3.0
VSST 100Introduction to Art & Design3.0
or VSST 107 Introduction to Design for Media
or VSST 110 Introductory Drawing
Art History Electives: Select 8 courses from the following24.0
Media Arts & Design
Art in the Age of Technology
History of Costume I: Preclassical to Directoire
History of Costume II: Directoire to World War I
History of Costume: Post World War I to Present
Film History I: Emergence
Film History II: New Waves
Film History III: Trends
History of Photography I
History of Photography II
Graphic Design: 20th Century and Beyond
Western Art: Ancient to Modern
Early American Art
Medieval Art
Northern Renaissance
Art of the 17th and 18th Centuries
Modern/Contemporary/Theory/Criticism
Twentieth Century American Art
Nineteenth Century Art
Contemporary Art
African-American Art
Modern Art Theory and Criticism
Asia, Africa, Latin America
Art of India
Art of China
Art of Japan
African Art
Advanced Course Work
Art History Senior Thesis
Independent Study in Art History
Independent Study in Art History
Special Topics in Art History
Special Topics in Art History
Architecture
Architecture and Society II
Architecture and Society III
Architecture and Society IV
History of Modern Architecture I
History of Philadelphia Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Total Credits180.0

Sample Plan of Study (BA)

Term 1Credits
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Diversity3.0
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
HIST 161Themes in World Civilization I4.0
PHIL 101Introduction to Western Philosophy3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 2
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
HIST 162
or 163
Themes in World Civilization II
Themes in World Civilization III
4.0
PHIL 105Critical Reasoning3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
Natural Science Elective3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 3
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
ARTH 150Art History Research Methods3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
Social science elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 4
ARCH 141Architecture and Society I3.0
ARTH 301Asian Art and Culture3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
Foreign Language4.0
Math3.0
VSST requirement3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 5
ARTH 325
or 327
Ancient Greek and Roman Art
Italian Renaissance Art
3.0
Foreign Language4.0
Math3.0
Natural Science3.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 6
ARTH 200Principles and Methods of Art History3.0
PSCI 120History of Political Thought4.0
ENGL (Non-Western Literature)3.0
Foreign Language4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 7
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
Art History elective 6.0
Free electives7.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 8
ARTH 313
or 314
20th Century Art
Contemporary Art
3.0
ARTH 477Art History Seminar3.0
Art History elective 3.0
Free electives6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
Art History elective3.0
Free electives12.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
Art History elective3.0
ENGL (Western Literature)3.0
Social science elective3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Term 11
Art History electives6.0
Free electives9.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 12
Art History elective3.0
Free electives9.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 180.0

Sample Plan of Study (BS)

Term 1Credits
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
Free elective9.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 2
ARTH 102History of Art II: Renaissance to Romanticism3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
Free elective6.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 3
ARTH 103History of Art III: Modern Art3.0
ARTH 150Art History Research Methods3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
Free elective3.0
Social Science elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 4
ARCH 141Architecture and Society I3.0
ARTH 301Asian Art and Culture3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
Math3.0
Natural Science3.0
Social science elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 5
ARTH 325
or 327
Ancient Greek and Roman Art
Italian Renaissance Art
3.0
Math3.0
Natural Science3.0
Free elective6.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 6
ARTH 200Principles and Methods of Art History3.0
Free elective12.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 7
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
Art History elective6.0
Free elective9.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 8
ARTH 313
or 314
20th Century Art
Contemporary Art
3.0
Art History elective3.0
Free elective6.0
ARTH 477Art History Seminar3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
Art History elective3.0
Free elective13.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 10
Art History elective6.0
Free Elective3.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
VSST requirement3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 11
Art History elective3.0
Free elective9.0
 Term Credits12.0
Term 12
Art History elective3.0
Free elective9.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 180.0

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Co-op Opportunities

Drexel's enviable geographical location in the northeast corridor of the United States provides a distinct advantage for an art history program because of the proximity of many important Museums, galleries, and auction houses. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Barnes Foundation, Rodin Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology are all local and easily accessible. Museums, galleries and auction houses in New York, Washington, Baltimore and other east coast centers are all within a reasonable distance by train, bus, or car. These institutions will offer students an abundance of opportunities for first-hand study of the major collections of art, architecture, and design. Proximity to these institutions can also provide for many choice opportunities for cooperative education experiences.

Some possibilities include:

  • Barnes  Foundation
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • American Philosophical Society
  • Moderne Gallery
  • Calderwood Gallery
  • RagoArts Auction House, Lambertville, NJ
  • Twelve Gates Gallery for Contemporary South Asian Art
  • Newark Museum, NJ
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Mural Arts Program
  • Asia Society NY
  • Christie's NY

Career Opportunities

A major in art history can prepare students for a wide variety of careers, as well as preparation for graduate school.

Possible career paths:

  • Museum Administrator
  • Gallery Director
  • Curator
  • Museum Registrar
  • Museum Educator
  • Art Consultant
  • Art Librarian
  • Editor
  • Art and/or Intellectual Property Law
  • Artist Representative
  • Non-profit and governmental organizations
  • Teacher (K-12)
  • Teacher/Researcher (college and university)

As a particularly broad humanities discipline, art history serves as an outstanding pre-professional degree, providing excellent preparation for a wide variety of professions, such as law, medicine, education and library science.

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

Art History Faculty

Jennifer Blazina, MFA (Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI). Associate Professor. Coordinator of printmaking, fine arts.
Mark Brack, PhD (University of California at Berkeley). Associate Professor. British and American architecture from 1700 to the present; Hispanic colonial architecture in the American Southwest; vernacular architecture; historic preservation.
Pia Brancaccio, PhD (Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples, Italy) Art History Program Co-Director. Associate Professor. South Asian art.
Lewis Colburn, MFA (Syracuse University) Sculpture Area Coordinator. Assistant Professor. Sculpture, 3D design.
Anda Dubinskis, MFA (University of Pennsylvania) Drawing Area Coordinator. Associate Teaching Professor. Drawing.
Joseph F. Gregory, PhD (SUNY at Binghamton). Associate Professor. Modern European art.
Lydia Hunn, MFA (University of Pennsylvania) Multimedia Area Coordinator. Professor. Installations, sculpture, painting and drawing.
Linda Kim, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Assistant Professor. American art, African art.
Elizabeth Milroy Professor. History of cultural spaces, specifically public parks and historic sites in the city of Philadelphia.
Charles Morscheck, PhD (Bryn Mawr College) Art History Program Co-Director. Professor. Italian Renaissance art.
Orlando Pelliccia, MFA Director of the Leonard Perlstein Gallery; Materials Coordinator. Teaching Professor. Multimedia.
Bruce W. Pollock, M.F.A. (Tyler School of Art, Temple University) Painting Area Coordinator; Fine Arts minor advosor. Associate Professor. Abstract painting and drawing.
Danielle Rice, PhD (Yale University) Program Director, Museum Leadership. Teaching Professor. Arts education
Clare Sauro, MA (Fashion Institute of Technology) Curator, Historic Costume Collection. Associate Teaching Professor. Costume history.
Delia Solomons, PhD (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University). Assistant Professor. Contemporary art, Latin American art.
Sara Steinwachs, MFA (Yale University) Visual Studies Area Coordinator. Associate Professor. Drawing, painting and design.
Mark Stockton, MFA (Syracuse University) Design for Media Area Coordinator. Assistant Teaching Professor. Drawing, painting, and design.
Blaise J. Tobia, MFA (University of California, San Diego) Director of the Digital Media Program. Professor. Photo-based works, design, art theory.
Joshua Weiss, MFA (Yale University). Associate Teaching Professor. Drawing, painting and design.
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