Academic Program & Curriculum

The Art History Department at St. Thomas explores the many dimensions of art in a broad range of periods and worldwide cultures. The courses, programs, and faculty of the department prompt students to become investigators, learning to ask and answer questions about art, from pottery to painting, from bronzes to buildings. Students are encouraged to conduct independent research and to present their findings to a broader audience and to make art accessible inside and outside of the classroom.

Art history embodies the study of the liberal arts by considering the work of art and architecture within its broader cultural and social context, including religion, economic production, politics, gender, and social identification. The liberal arts and interdisciplinary nature of the major can be combined effectively with other majors such as theology, history, philosophy, or with programs emphasizing professional skills, including journalism, communication, or elementary education. Recent graduates of the Art History program have pursued careers in education, art conservation, historic preservation, museum education and curatorship, art gallery direction, publishing and interior design.

The department offers a number of courses for the non-major to fulfill the Fine Arts component of the core curriculum. 

Major in Art History

Art History - Major Field Guide

Art History B.A. Degree Planning Guide

Requirements for Degree

  • ARTH 110 Introduction to Art History (4 credits)
  • ARTH 211 Methods, Approaches, and Problems in Art History (4 credits)
  • ARTH 481 Senior Paper and Presentation (4 credits)

Ancient Art

  • ARTH 260 Women in Ancient Art and Culture (4 credits)
  • ARTH 305 Greek Art and Archaeology (4 credits)
  • ARTH 310 Roman Art and Archaeology (4 credits)
  • or equivalent

Medieval Art

  • ARTH 330 Churches and Mosques in the First Millennium (4 credits)
  • ARTH 335 Cathedrals, Monasteries, and Caliphates (4 credits)
  • or equivalent

Renaissance & Baroque Art

  • ARTH 340 Southern Renaissance Art and Society (4 credits)
  • ARTH 345 Baroque and Rococo Art (4 credits)
  • or equivalent
  • ARTH 265 Art of Mesoamerica (4 credits)
  • ARTH 270 Pacific Art (4 credits)
  • ARTH 275 Buddhist Art (4 credits)
  • ARTH 284 Arts of the African Diaspora (4 credits)
  • ARTH 285 Arts of Africa (4 credits)
  • ARTH 291 Topics in Non-Western Art (4 credits)
  • ARTH 321 The Art and Culture of Modern Mexico (1824-1940)
  • ARTH 323 Colonial Art of Latin America (4 credits)
  • ARTH 328 Chinese Sculpture & Architecture (4 credits)
  • ARTH 329 Chinese Painting (4 credits)
  • or equivalent
  • ARTH 321 The Art and Culture of Modern Mexico, 1824-1940 (4 credits)
  • ARTH 351 Romanticism to Impressionism (4 credits)
  • ARTH 352 Art in the United States (4 credits)
  • ARTH 356 Modernism in European Art (4 credits)
  • ARTH 361 Contemporary Art (4 credits)  
  • ARTH 270 Pacific Art (4 credits)
  • ARTH 280 Sacred Architecture and Space (4 credits)
  • ARTH 282 The History of American Architecture (4 credits)
  • ARTH 285 Arts of Africa (4 credits)
  • ARTH 339 Western Costume’s Design and Visual Representation in Context (4 credits)
  • or equivalent
  • a second course in one of the above areas
  • an internship or other form of experiential learning, including research and preparation of exhibits
  • an art history course taken abroad
  • a studio art course 

A single course may fall into more than one area, but may only be applied to a single area. Students taking courses abroad may also substitute one course taken abroad for one of the advanced studies course areas (with the exception of global art) with prior approval of the chair of the department.

Minor in Art History

  • ARTH 110 Introduction to Art History (4 credits)


  • Sixteen credits chosen with the approval of the department chair or a department adviser.