Art History: Cultivating Future Educators, Museum Professionals, and Independent Thinkers
The Art Department's Bachelor of Arts degree in art history promotes and cultivates building historical, contemporary, and cultural knowledge in the visual arts through critical analysis and independent thinking. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in the arts and as most of those jobs require higher degrees, the program likewise prepares students for success in graduate school in a variety of related disciplines. This is accomplished, in part, by instilling students with skills such as broad-base visual literacy, research competence, written and oral communication, creativity, and critical analysis. Students arrive at these skills through a variety of processes, including but not limited to scaffolded writing assignments in course work, project design and participation in research symposia and conferences, senior capstones, internships, and senior theses. These experiences and the skills they instill are fundamentally transferable, preparing students for careers in the arts, but also for a wide variety of possible paths.
After a survey of global art from ancient to contemporary, students must take a course each in the following areas at the 200- and 300-levels: Ancient/Medieval, Early Modern (Renaissance and Baroque), and Modern and Contemporary. The art history degree also requires a non-western course, three art history electives at the 400 level (of the student's choice), in addition to a culminating research paper (capstone or senior thesis) in their final semester.
Art history majors must also take two studio courses to better understand materials and techniques of art making in various media.
Advanced majors may pursue internships at museums and other cultural venues, and conduct independent research with faculty guidance.
ODU's Art History majors have presented at regional, national, and international conferences and entered prestigious master of arts and doctoral programs.
The Art History Program offers scholarships and study abroad courses, and participates in the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, in which students can share their original research in a professional format.
The Student Art History Association (AHA) supports extracurricular activities including discussions, field trips, and guest lectures, and works to build community among art history majors and minors.