Art History BS

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

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 Science

The BS degree also requires 60.0 credit hours of art history, but it only requires 36.0 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.

Additional Information

More information about the Art History program is available.

Degree Requirements

General Education requirements
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
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 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 History3.0
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
Early Modernism (1850-1900)
Contemporary Art
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 and Society II
Architecture and Society III
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

First Year
ARTH 1013.0ARTH 1023.0ARTH 1033.0VACATION
ENGL 101 or 1113.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0ARTH 1503.0 
UNIV A1011.0UNIV A1011.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
Free Elective9.0Free Elective6.0Free Elective3.0 
  Social Science Elective3.0 
 16 13 15 0
Second Year
ARCH 1413.0Art History (ARTH) requirement3.0ARTH 2003.0COOP EXPERIENCE
ARTH 3013.0MATH3.0Art History (ARTH) Requirement3.0 
COOP 1011.0Arts and Humanities Elective3.0Free Elective9.0 
MATH3.0Natural Science3.0  
Natural Science3.0Free Elective6.0  
Social Science Elective3.0   
 16 18 15 0
Third Year
ARTH 300 or 3313.0ARTH 4773.0Art History (ARTH) Electives6.0COOP EXPERIENCE
Art History (ARTH) Requirement3.0Art History (ARTH) Elective3.0Free Electives12.0 
Free Electives9.0Free Electives7.0  
 15 13 18 0
Fourth Year
Art History (ARTH) Elective3.0Art History (ARTH) Electives6.0Art History (ARTH) Elective3.0 
Arts and Humanities Elective3.0Free Electives9.0Free Electives9.0 
VSST Requirement3.0   
Free Electives6.0   
 15 15 12 
Total Credits 181

Co-op/Career 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.

Program Level Outcomes

  • Identify and classify works of art, architecture and design as expressions of the values, concerns, assumptions, and ideas of the historical cultures that produced them.
  • Demonstrate a broad visual familiarity with a wide variety of art objects
  • Demonstrate a command of grammar, syntax and spelling sufficient to write a 30-page paper on an art historical topic.
  • Find and utilize authoritative sources in the scholarly literature
  • Read art historical literature at a level sufficient to qualify for graduate study
  • Perform library research (including on-line/electronic) efficiently and effectively
  • Distinguish the difference between primary and secondary sources (artifactual and documentary) and use them effectively
  • Apply critical thinking to the investigation of art historical questions and problems
  • Apply the above-mentioned skills to the study of other disciplines and to the problems of life and work

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) Department Head of Art and Art History. Associate Professor. Sculpture.
Anda Dubinskis, MFA (University of Pennsylvania) Drawing Area Coordinator. Teaching Professor. Drawing.
Derek Gillman, MA, LLM (University of Oxford). Distinguished Teaching Professor. Cara Keegan Fry University Curator and Executive Director, University Collections and Exhibitions. Art History, visual studies, museum management.
Joseph F. Gregory, PhD (SUNY at Binghamton). 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) Coordinator of Drawing. Associate Teaching Professor. Drawing
Orlando Pelliccia, MFA Coordinator of Materials. Teaching Professor. Multimedia.
Delia Solomons, PhD (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University) Program Director of Art History. Associate Professor. Contemporary art, Latin American art.
Sarah Steinwachs, MFA (Yale University). Associate Professor. Painting and Design.
Mark Stockton, MFA (Syracuse University) Leonard Pearlstein Gallery Director. Teaching Professor. Drawing and Design. Program Director of D.A.R.T. (Drexel Art Club).
Joshua Weiss, MFA (Yale University) Program Director of Visual Studies, Coordinator of Design, Fine Art Minor Advisor. . Associate Teaching Professor. Painting and Design.
Ricardo Zapata, MFA (The University of Pennsylvania) Coordinator of Design for Media. Assistant Teaching Professor. Design for Media and Drawing.

Emeritus Faculty

Mark Brack, PhD (University of California at Berkeley). Associate 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.
Bruce W. Pollock, M.F.A. (Tyler School of Art, Temple University). Professor Emeritus. Painting.
David Raizman, PhD (University of Pittsburgh). Professor Emeritus. Medieval Spain and Modern Design.
Blaise J. Tobia, MFA (University of California, San Diego) Director of the Digital Media Program. Professor Emeritus. Photo-based works, design, art theory.