Students who major in art history often have a fascination with past cultures and their creations: the ancient pyramids of Egypt, the Renaissance frescos in the Sistine Chapel or a modern portrait by Picasso. In CMU’s art history program, you’ll learn how to see, think, analyze and write about art, exploring a variety of peoples and places from the beginnings of civilization through the 21st century. Students conduct personal research into historical artworks, travel to the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago and other museums and also have opportunities to study abroad.
Put Your Degree to Work
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
Below is a list of potential careers, median salary over the course of the career and projected job growth.
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2026|
|Museum curator/archivist||$47,360 per year||13% (4,200 more jobs)|
|Historian||$59,120 per year||6% (200 more jobs)|
|Art librarian||$58,520 per year||9% (12,400 more jobs)|
|Anthropologist||$62,280 per year||4% (300 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Art History Major
Total: 40 semester hours
Core Courses I
Art Event Attendance
Attendance at lectures, exhibition openings or workshops as approved by the Department of Art and Design. Students are required to register for and complete ART 096 for every semester they have a signed BFA in Studio Art, Graphic Design, BA in Art History or a BAA in Studio Art. CR/NC only. Prerequisite: Signed BFA in Studio Art or Graphic Art, or signed BA in Art History, or signed BAA in Studio Art.
Introduction to Western Art, Part I
History of Western art from prehistoric through medieval periods. Roots of western cultures seen in differing artistic styles and attitudes. (University Program Group I-A: Human Events and Ideas)
Introduction to Western Art, Part II
History of Western art from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Relations of form and content to cultural attitudes. Unique contributions of major artists. (University Program Group I-A: Human Events and Ideas)
Introduction to Non-Western Art
An introduction to the visual arts of non-European cultures: Africa, Oceania, Asia and the Americas. Explores relations between arts, philosophies, and ways of life.
Core Courses II
The Methods of Art History
Learn how to think like an art historian. Explore the ways art historians interpret art. Develop research skills on art historical topics. Prerequisite: Completion of 36 credit hours, including 6 credit hours in art history.
Art History Professional Development
This course prepares Art History majors for the capstone class and professional opportunities after graduation. Prerequisites: ART 319; senior standing, a signed major in Art History. Pre/co-requisite: One of: ART 580, 581, 582, 586.
Research Seminar in Art History
Seminar supporting research projects in art history. Must be taken in one of the last two semesters prior to graduation. May be taken for graduate credit. Prerequisites: 3 credits of 500-level art history and signed Art History major; or graduate standing.
Core Courses III
Select one course each from Groups 1, 2, and 3:
Select three (3) courses from Groups 1-4.
Select one 500-level course not previously taken from Groups 1-4.
Select one studio art course.