Architectural History, Minor

Program Code: ARC_H_UMNR

Program Description

This interdisciplinary minor administered by the Department of Art History is designed for students interested in exploring architectural history from a variety of disciplines.

This minor is open to students in all majors. Majors in Art History, Anthropology, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and Geography may only double count 6 credits taken in their major field towards this minor.

What is Architectural History?

Architectural history uses methods familiar to art and architectural historians, architects, urban designers, landscape architects and historians, historic preservationists, classicists, archaeologists, anthropologists, historical geographers, and social historians to study and understand architecture.

You Might Like This Program If...

You want to understand architecture from multiple points of view. If you like the idea of an interdisciplinary approach to studying the history of architecture, then architectural history might be a great minor for you!

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 21

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ARTH 201Ancient to Medieval Architecture Keystone/General Education Course3
ARTH 202NRenaissance to Modern Architecture Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Architecture and Ideas Keystone/General Education Course
Ideas Across Time in Architecture and Urbanism Keystone/General Education Course
Cultural History of Designed Places Keystone/General Education Course
Built Environment and Culture: Examining the Modern City Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 12 credits from any courses in architectural history, including at least 6 at the 400 level. No more than 9 credits may be taken from any one department. Courses must be approved by Architectural History minor adviser.12

Learning Outcomes

The Architectural History minor teaches exceptional visual acuity and analysis.  Students will better understand space, design processes, and construction practice within historical periods.  The minor also sharpens writing and verbal communication skills, and improves critical thinking.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Craig Zabel
Associate Professor of Art History
240 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802

Career Paths

The architectural history minor is a great fit for students interested in careers that relate to built environments and the history and preservation of them.


Students who are pursuing careers in architecture, landscape architecture, art history, historic preservation, historic site management, urban planning, interior design, engineering, anthropology, archaeology, classics, American studies, history, and historical geography will all find that the architectural history minor will supplement their major area of study, and open up more possibilities for them when they enter the work force!


University Park

240 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802