Art History, Minor

Program Code: ARTH_UMNR

Program Description

The Art History minor is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the history of art that will complement major studies in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences. The histories of diverse forms of visual culture-including painting, sculpture, architecture, design, the graphic arts, and the decorative arts-are introduced in relation to their social and cultural contexts. The minor in Art History provides students with a liberal arts curriculum with a particular sensitivity to the social, rhetorical, and aesthetic roles the visual arts play in diverse cultures and is especially relevant for students pursuing art, art education, history, anthropology, archaeology, classics, English, foreign language/literature, cultural studies, international business, and arts administration. The skills and knowledge acquired through the Art History minor enhance students' appreciation of the value of cultural heritage, their communication skills, and their understanding of world history. Students majoring in Art History cannot take this minor.

What is Art History?

Art history is the exploration of art and architecture from ancient to contemporary times, in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It’s museum studies, historiography, iconology, art criticism, connoisseurship, and research. It’s studying aesthetics, and the context, form, and social significance of art throughout time and place. Art history relates visual images back to questions of religion, politics, society, gender, economics, philosophy, and culture.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You are fascinated by art, architecture, and visual materials from prehistoric times to the present.
  • Visual images make your mind light up with a hundred questions that all relate to “Who? Where? When? How?”

If you can't wait to get to the business of answering these questions, then art history might be the 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).

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits from the following: 19
Introduction to Art Keystone/General Education Course
Pictures and Power Keystone/General Education Course
Rocks, Minerals, and the History of Art Keystone/General Education Course
Ancient to Medieval Art Keystone/General Education Course
Ancient to Medieval Art Keystone/General Education Course
Renaissance to Modern Art Keystone/General Education Course
Renaissance to Modern Art Keystone/General Education Course
Asian Art and Architecture Keystone/General Education Course
Asian Art and Architecture -LINKED Keystone/General Education Course
Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Art and Architecture of the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits of 1 to 400-level ARTH courses, except ARTH 1006
Select 6 credits of 400-level ARTH courses6
Note: Students are encouraged to use these supporting courses to focus their studies in one or two areas of art history and should discuss these course selections with an Art History faculty member.

Learning Outcomes

Art History teaches deep looking and analysis. It therefore develops the sort of visual literacy essential in today's world. The major 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

Kyrie Harding
Academic Advising Manager
104 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802


Yvonne Love
Associate Professor of Art
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001

Career Paths

Art history provides students with a solid background in the liberal arts, as well as a strong foundation in the history of painting, sculpture, architecture, design, and the graphic arts. It opens the door for numerous careers, and is an excellent first step toward pursuing advanced degrees in art history.


Art history students have found employment in museums, galleries, publishing, arts agencies, visual resources, archives and libraries, archaeology, historic preservation, and historic sites.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

The two most common careers for art historians are teaching at the college level, or working in a museum as a curator, registrar, or director (among other possibilities). These careers typically require a graduate degree.



University Park

240 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802


1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001