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Art History, Visual Art, & Theory

The Department of Art History, Visual Art, & Theory offers programs of study that lead to the Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and the Diploma in Art History. These programs have one common goal: the development of critical approaches to visual art and visual culture. They may be pursued for general educational purposes, or for professional activity in the field.

In Art History, the Department offers a Minor in Art History, Bachelor of Arts (Major and Honours), Master of Arts, Master of Arts Critical and Curatorial Studies, and Doctor of Philosophy. The Diploma in Art History is available for students who have a first degree in another discipline and who wish a foundation in art history equivalent to the undergraduate major. See Diploma in Art History.

In Visual Art, the Department offers a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Major and Honours), Master of Fine Arts, and Minor in Visual Art. The B.A. is available for those intending to pursue a post-graduate program in secondary education, but it is also often taken by those with other career goals. The B.F.A. is a focused program in Visual Art. While it is particularly designed for students who are contemplating a career in the arts, it is also well suited to students who seek a liberal education via the practice and study of art within a lively academic setting. See Bachelor of Fine Arts.

For information on advanced degrees, see graduate Art History, Visual Art & Theory. Please visit the Department for information on Art History and Visual Art goals, programs, and courses.

The Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory courses are now listed under ARTH, CCST, and VISA.

Major in Art History

Lower-Level Requirements

Students take any 12 credits in 100- or 200-level ARTH. ARTH 101 and/or 102 are strongly recommended as an introduction to the discipline. Students may count 6 credits of VISA towards these 12 credits.

Students may enter the Major program upon the completion of at least 3 credits in 100- or 200-level Art History and the accumulation of at least 27 credits.

Upper-Level Requirements

The minimum requirements for the Major in Art History are 30 credits in the upper-level (typically taken in the third and fourth years) focused as follows:

  • 3 credits of ARTH 300 Seminar on Methods and Approaches in Art History;
  • 15 credits of art history courses numbered 300 or higher in a geographical, chronological, or thematic area of focus;1
  • 9 credits in Art History courses numbered 300 or higher in areas that are chronologically and/or geographically distinct from the 15 credit focus;1 and
  • 3 credits in a 400-level Art History seminar.

1All of these courses must be determined in consultation with the Art History Undergraduate Advisor.

No more than 6 credits of cross-listed courses (indicated in course descriptions as "Equivalent: xxx") offered by other departments may be counted toward the minimum requirements for the Art History Major.

Honours in Art History

While not required for graduate study, the Honours Program gives eligible students the opportunity to further their study through additional credits and an Honours Essay. Students considering the Honours Program should make the decision in consultation with a departmental advisor and will be expected to have previously completed 12 credits in Art History courses, of which up to 6 credits can be in Visual Art. It is normally expected that the Honours students will have a high B average in all first- and second-year course work and a minimum A- average in art history courses. If the same minimum average is not maintained in third-year art history courses, the student will be advised to revert to the Major program.

Third and Fourth Years

The Honours program is the same as the Major program with two additional requirements:

  • 12 additional upper-level credits in art history,
  • the Honours Essay (ARTH 499, 6 credits)

Completion of these additional requirements will give the Honours student a total of a minimum of 48 credits in Art History over the third and fourth years.

Minor in Art History

The Minor in Art History follows the general regulations for minor programs established by the Faculty of Arts.

To complete a Minor in Art History, the student must take at least 30 credits and no more than 42 credits in this field of specialization. At least 18 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above.

See Faculty of Arts Minor Programs

Major and Minor in Visual Art

See Visual Art.

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