Art History

Art history and pottery collaboration

Explore global visual culture.

Who We Are


As an Art History student, you will develop critical skills and the ability to comprehend global visual arts within a social, historical, and aesthetic framework. Our class formats involve lecture and discussion with introductory survey classes with less than 40 students and advanced seminar or group study classes of 10-20. You will also explore courses in a second field of study, chosen with your advisor from CSU's expansive catalog, while gaining exposure to a foreign language and aesthetic philosophy.

Study abroad is a key feature of our academic program and offers cultural immersion opportunities to learn in a diverse, international context. Programs focus on integrated study, and include modules on studio art, art history, art education, humanities, and languages. These enriching and unique location-responsive experiences are integrated into the department’s curricular structure, making it easy for you to fit international travel opportunities into your Art History education.

Career Outcomes

  • Museum Curator/Director
  • University Professors

Our students are actively involved in a broad range of activities that further their careers and provide professional development experiences. Annual events include the spring Art History Symposium and the Capstone symposium, which provide graduating seniors with the opportunity to publicly present original research in a conference setting. Other opportunities include interactions with visiting artists and scholars from our Scott Artist Series and the Critic and Artist Residence Series.



Art History classes will equip you with visual literacy skills from a global perspective. You will immerse yourself in a 3-semester art history survey, which provides a chronological, global overview of key moments in the history of art within a visual cultural context. Students also explore foundational studio courses which introduce them to the principles and techniques of two, three, and four-dimensional arts.

Advanced Course Work

Advanced coursework for art history majors allows you to choose from a broad selection of classes, including seminars, group studies, internships, and education abroad courses. Topics include courses in Medieval art, the Italian Renaissance, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and American Art, as well as courses in the Arts of Africa, Native American Art, the Arts of the Americas, Pacific Art, and the comparative study of “Global Encounters.” Additionally, majors choose a second field of study and a foreign language (preferably French or German) to complete at an introductory level.

Our capstone seminar challenges students to integrate the social, historical, and aesthetic significance of visual art in a comprehensive research paper, while learning art historical approaches and methods that can be applied to a wide array of career choices and graduate studies.

Graduates leave our program equipped with global visual literacy and transferable skills for the 21st century. These skills include the ability to implement art historical methodologies when engaging with visual culture, broad historical and cultural knowledge, aesthetic and design consciousness, critical and analytical thinking as well as applied problem solving, intensive research methods, effective oral and written communication, teamwork and leadership, and digital literacy.

Our Facilities


Digital & print media, museum collections, art exhibitions, & visiting artists & scholars are at your fingertips. Wireless lecture and seminar classes are supplied with podium access to video, DVD/Blu-ray, and image projection. Visual and digital resources are available in the department’s Stanley G. Wold Resource Center and through the Morgan Library.


Students also have the opportunity to work with the collections at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art through introductory and advanced coursework, internships, and independent studies. The Museum’s collections consist of approximately 3,500 objects in a variety of media including prints, photographs, paintings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, and decorative art objects from cultures around the world and spanning more than 2000 years.

Our Faculty

Study with a team of 4 full-time faculty and 4 adjunct instructors whose diverse specializations focus on visual culture across region and time.