Art History (BA)

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Art History
Program Code: 3278

About This Major . . .

The BA degree in Art History provides students with an understanding of the importance of the visual arts to society and culture through the study of historic and contemporary artists, art movements and styles. Art History teaches students to critically analyze visual images in their original social and political context; the emphasis on visual literacy and critical thinking are especially valuable today. This degree can lead to professional employment in art museums and galleries, art publishing houses, and other areas of art services. The degree will also prepare students for advanced, graduate-level art history studies.

Important information about this major:

  • 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher is required in all foundation and art major courses.
  • Minimum grade of “C” is required in all foundation and art major courses.
  • No more than 6 semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Additional fees are required throughout the art program for materials.
  • KINA Activity courses can NOT be used to fulfill general elective credit requirements.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Interpret and apply formal elements and principles of design (Critical Thinking)
  2. Demonstrate application of tools, materials, techniques, and proper use and care for equipment through quality craftsmanship (Applied Learning)
  3. Generate individual response through concept and relevant sources of information to create personal content (Communication Fluency and Information Literacy)
  4. Communicate clearly regarding the critical analysis of art and design both historical and contemporary (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication Fluency)
  5. Reflect on and respond to ethical, social, civil, and/or environmental challenges as they relate to art, design, and new media (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  6. Demonstrate an array of critical approaches to the study of historic art and visual culture in written or oral presentations (Specialized Knowledge)
  7. Execute research projects involving visual analysis, reading research, critical thinking, writing and standard methods of documentation (Critical Thinking)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA13
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 2
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Other Lower Division Requirements 

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
KINA 1XXActivity Course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Foundation Courses

(18 semester hours, must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA, minimum grade of “C” is required in each course.)

ARTE 101Two-Dimensional Design-GTAH13
ARTE 102Three-Dimensional Design-GTAH13
ARTE 118History of Art, Prehistory to Renaissance-GTAH13
ARTE 119History of Art, Renaissance to Present-GTAH13
Two consecutive courses in the same foreign language 16
Total Semester Credit Hours18

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(45 semester hours, must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA, minimum grade of “C” is required in each course.)

Art Specialization
ARTE 294Sophomore Seminar3
ARTH 220History of Modern Art3
ARTS 151Foundation Drawing I3
Art History Core
Select 12 hours from the following:12
Nineteenth-Century Art
20th Century Art to 1950
Development of Contemporary Art
Gothic and Northern Renaissance Art and Architecture
Italian Renaissance Art History
Medieval Art: Early Christian to the Romanesque
Art History Capstone
ARTH 400Criticism and Research: Theory and Method3
Art History Upper Division
Select 12 semester hours of ARTH 300- or 400-level courses12
Studio Art & Design Introduction
Choose one course from three of the following art and design disciplines:9
Animation, Film, Photography and Motion Design
Lights! Camera! Action
Image and Motion
Principles of Film
Principles of Animation
Beginning Hand Building
Beginning Wheel Throwing
Graphic Design
Design It
Graphic Design I
Foundation Drawing II: Figure Drawing
Painting I: Intro to Painting
Principles of Digital Photography
Introduction to Photography
Printmaking: Intaglio and Relief
Sculpture I
Total Semester Credit Hours45

General Elective

(All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours. 20 semester hours,13 of which must be upper-level credits. Excludes KINA Activity courses. ARTE 499 is a possible elective.)

Select electives20
Total Semester Credit Hours20
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ARTE 101 Two-Dimensional Design-GTAH1 3
ARTE 118 History of Art, Prehistory to Renaissance-GTAH1 3
ARTS 151 Foundation Drawing I 3
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ARTE 102 Three-Dimensional Design-GTAH1 3
ARTE 119 History of Art, Renaissance to Present-GTAH1 3
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
ARTH 220 History of Modern Art 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
Foreign Language I 3
Studio Art Introduction 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ARTE 294 Sophomore Seminar 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
Foreign Language II 3
KINA 1XXActivity Course 1
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
Art History Core Requirement 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Third Year
Fall Semester
Art History Core Requirements (2 courses) 6
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
General Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
Art History Core Requirement 3
Essential Learning - History 3
General Elective 3
Studio Art Introduction 3
Upper Division Art History 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
ARTH 400 Criticism and Research: Theory and Method 3
General Elective (2 courses) 5
Studio Art Introduction 3
Upper Division Art History 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
General Electives (3 courses) 9
Upper Division Art History (2 courses) 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.