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Art History

There are two ways to major in Art History at Illinois. You may work toward either a BFA degree in the College of Fine and Applied Arts or a BA degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The BFA program requires more studio courses, while the BA program requires more extensive study into the humanities.

The School has a large internationally renowned faculty of art historians who are active scholars and dedicated teachers. Our course offerings cover art in Europe from classical period to the present, traditional and contemporary African art, East Asian art, Latin American art, and American art. In addition to courses that explore social and cultural functions of art in a multitude of contexts, the Art History curriculum uses small seminars to introduce advanced students to specialized techniques for writing and research in the humanities. Qualified students may also write a Senior Honors Thesis. This program offers seniors the opportunity to work closely with a member of the faculty on researching and writing a scholarly paper over the course of two semesters.

A major in the history of art provides students with the ability to interpret art as a record of social and personal experience, to assess complex and conflicting arguments, and to understand and interpret a diverse range of artistic traditions. You experience a broad education that will allow you to advance in a wide variety of careers, including (but not limited to) the arts, business, law, and education. An art history major also prepares you for a graduate study in the field, which can lead to a career as a university professor or in museum work.