Examine human history, religion, psychology, sociology, politics, science, and culture through art.
The Art History major offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary course of study that reaches deep into the past and across the world. Through small, discussion-based classes, you’ll hone your analytical, research, writing, and presentation skills. You’ll also take at least two studio courses as part of the major to help you understand the creative process.
Most of our faculty members teach in two areas (e.g. Africa and African-American, Western Renaissance and Islamic art). And many do research on “contact” periods or areas such as Africa and America, Japan and the West, the West and Byzantium, and Europe and the Americas, giving our curriculum a uniquely global outlook.
If you are drawn to gallery art, we offer a Special Topics course where students organize an entire exhibition from start to finish. All Art History majors complete a capstone project, most often a research paper prepared with the guidance of our faculty.
You will get a chance to present your best work at the Annual Bay Area Undergraduate Art History Research Symposium at the renowned de Young Museum in San Francisco. And the de Saisset Museum on campus hosts an Annual Art History Student Research Symposium and Research Paper Prize for majors.
Our majors often pursue graduate study as well as jobs in arts administration for museums, galleries, and other professional, commercial, or community arts organizations. The knowledge and skills developed in Art History courses also offer an excellent preparation for careers in business, communication, education, government, and law.