Art History BA

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

Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 181.0
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 181.0 credit hours.

Bachelor of Arts

The BA degree requires 60.0 credit hours of art history, 75.0 credit hours of General Education courses, and 46.0 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 46.0 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.

Additional Information

More information about the Art History program is available.

Degree Requirements (BA)

General education requirements
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Diversity3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
HIST 161Themes in World Civilization I4.0
HIST 162Themes in World Civilization II4.0
or HIST 163 Themes in World Civilization III
PHIL 105Critical Reasoning3.0
PHIL 110Introduction to Philosophy3.0
PSCI 120History of Political Thought4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
ENGL: Non-Western Literature Elective3.0
ENGL: Western Literature Elective3.0
Mathematics and Natural Science12.0
Required Arts and Humanities-students elect a minimum of 6 credits6.0
Foreign Language12.0
Social Sciences6.0
Art History requirements
ARTH 477Art History Seminar3.0
VSST 100Introduction to Art & Design3.0
or VSST 107 Introduction to Design for Media
or VSST 110 Introductory Drawing
Foundation Survey Courses15.0
Architecture and Society I
History of Art I
History of Art II
History of Art III
Asian Art and Culture
Methods Courses6.0
Building Skills in Object Analysis
Principles and Methods of Art History
Design History (select one)3.0
History of Modern Design
Global Material Culture
Global Art and Cultures (select one)3.0
Contemporary Art
Women in Art
Arts of Europe and the Americas (select one)3.0
20th Century Modernism (1900-1955)
History of African-American Art
Latin American Art
Ancient Greek and Roman Art
Italian Renaissance Art
Arts of Asia and Africa (select one)3.0
Art of India
Art of China
Art of Japan
African Art
Art History Electives - select 7 more courses either from the requirements areas (not already taken as a requirement) or from the following21.0
Media Arts & Design
History of Costume I: Preclassical to 1800
History of Costume II: 1800-1920
History of Costume III: 1920 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
Medieval Art
Northern Renaissance
Contemporary Art
History of African-American Art
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 and Society II
Architecture and Society III
Architecture and Society IV
American Architecture & Urbanism
History of Philadelphia Architecture
Special Topics in Architecture
Total Credits181.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study (BA)

First Year
ANTH 1013.0ARTH 1023.0ARTH 1033.0VACATION
ARTH 1013.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0ARTH 1503.0 
ENGL 101 or 1113.0HIST 162 or 1634.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
HIST 1614.0PHIL 1053.0Arts and Humanities Elective3.0 
PHIL 1103.0UNIV A1011.0Social Science Elective3.0 
UNIV A1011.0Natural Science Elective3.0  
 17 17 15 0
Second Year
ARTH 3013.0Arts and Humanities Elective3.0ENGL (Non-Western Literature)3.0 
COOP 101*1.0Foreign Language4.0Foreign Language4.0 
Foreign Language4.0MATH3.0Art History Requirement3.0 
MATH3.0Natural Science3.0  
VSST Requirement3.0   
 17 16 14 0
Third Year
Art History Requirements6.0Art History Requirements3.0ARTH 300 or 3313.0COOP EXPERIENCE
Free Electives6.0Free Electives12.0Art History Elective3.0 
  Free Electives7.0 
 12 15 13 0
Fourth Year
Art History Electives6.0Art History Electives6.0Art History Electives6.0 
ENGL (Western Literature)3.0Free Electives9.0Free Electives9.0 
Social Science Elective3.0   
 15 15 15 
Total Credits 181

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

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 and Art History Faculty

Jennifer Blazina, MFA (Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI). Professor. Coordinator of printmaking, fine arts.
Pia Brancaccio, PhD (Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples, Italy). Associate Professor. South Asian art.
Lewis Colburn, MFA (Syracuse University) Sculpture Area Coordinator. Associate Professor. Sculpture, 3D design.
Anda Dubinskis, MFA (University of Pennsylvania) Drawing Area Coordinator. Teaching Professor. Drawing.
Derek Gillman, MA, LLM (University of Oxford). Distinguished Visiting Professor. Visual studies.
Joseph F. Gregory, PhD (SUNY at Binghamton) Program Director. Associate Professor. Early Modern and Modern European Art.
Linda Kim, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Associate Professor. American art, African art.
Joseph H. Larnerd, PhD (Stanford University). Assistant Professor. History of design and material culture.
Jacob Lunderby, MFA (University of Minnesota). Assistant Teaching Professor. Drawing
Orlando Pelliccia, MFA Director of the Leonard Perlstein Gallery; Materials Coordinator. Associate Teaching Professor. Multimedia.
Bruce W. Pollock, M.F.A. (Tyler School of Art, Temple University) Painting Area Coordinator; Fine Arts Minor Advisor. Associate Professor. Abstract painting and drawing.
Delia Solomons, PhD (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University). Assistant Professor. Contemporary art, Latin American art.
Sarah Steinwachs, MFA (Yale University) Department Head of Art and Art History. Associate Professor. Drawing, painting and design.
Mark Stockton, MFA (Syracuse University) Design for Media Area Coordinator. Associate Teaching Professor. Drawing, painting, and design.
Joshua Weiss, MFA (Yale University). Associate Teaching Professor. Drawing, painting and design.
Ricardo Zapata, MFA (The University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Teaching Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Mark Brack, PhD (University of California at Berkeley). Professor Emeritus. British and American architecture from 1700 to the present; Hispanic colonial architecture in the American Southwest; vernacular architecture; historic preservation.
Lydia Hunn, MFA (University of Pennsylvania) Multimedia Area Coordinator. Professor Emerita. Installations, sculpture, painting and drawing.
Charles Morscheck, PhD (Bryn Mawr College) Art History Program Co-Director. Professor Emeritus. Italian Renaissance art.
Blaise J. Tobia, MFA (University of California, San Diego) Director of the Digital Media Program. Professor Emeritus. Photo-based works, design, art theory.
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees