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Skidmore College
Art History Department

Art History Major Requirements

Please Take Note:

Students from the Class of 2014 and beyond must take one 100-level course (any one.)  Only one will count towards the major; for this cohort breadth can only be earned in 200-level courses and above.

Each student major is required to take a minimum of twelve courses according to the following guidelines.

  1. Foundation (three courses):
    1. One AH 100 course: AH 100, AH 103, AH 104, AH 105, AH 107, AH 108, AH 151 (students may take more than one, but only one counts toward the Art History major);
    2. One studio art course of your choice (note prerequisites where necessary), except AR 299 A-D, AR 399 A-D, AT 361, and AT 375; and
    3. AH 221 - Practices of Art History should be taken by the end of the second year. (offered fall semseter only).
  2. Breadth (four art history courses of three credits or more). Choose one course from four of the following five areas: (Iterations of AH 251 and AH 351 of three or more credits fulfill breadth; contact department Chair for information about breadth categories).
    1. Ancient and Medieval Art in the West: AH 222, AH 223, AH 232, AH 233, AH 330, AH 361A;
    2. 15th- to 18th-Century Art in the West: AH 241, AH 253, AH 254, AH 268**, AH 342, AH 345, AH 347, AH 355, AH 361B;
    3. Modern and Contemporary Art in the West: AH 217, AH 257, AH 261, AH 265, AH 268**, AH 315***, AH 321, AH 322, AH 323, AH 364, AH 361C;
    4. Arts of Africa and the Americas: AH 203, AH 207, AH 208, AH 310, AH 315***, AH 361D; and
    5. Asian Art: AH 202, AH 206, AH 209, AH 313, AH 318, AH 361E.
  3. Exploration (at least three courses of two, three, or four credits each): Besides the foundation and breadth courses, each student must take a minimum of three additional art history courses, including at least one iteration of AH 375. Students may take one 2-4 credit AH 299, AH 399, AH 371, or AH 372 as an exploration course. Iterations of AH 251 and AH 351 of two or more credits fulfill exploration.
  4. AH 220 fulfills the writing requirement in the major.
  5. AH 380 - The Art History Major and Beyond, fall semester, senior year.
  6. The Art History major GPA is calculated based on all Art History courses.
  7. An Art History major must complete at least 16 credits of course work in the major on the Skidmore campus.
  8. No more than four credit hours of independent study or internship will count towards the major.

**Fulfills breadth areas "b" or "c," NOT both
***Fulfills breadth areas "c" or "d," NOT both

THE WRITING REQUIREMENT IN THE MAJOR: Art history requires clear, well-organized, analytical prose that articulates compelling ideas based on a wide range of strategically presented visual and written evidence. Writing in art history classes might include comparative visual analysis, reading responses, research papers, art criticism, and wall texts or catalogue entries for museum exhibitions. Art history majors fulfill Skidmore's writing in the major requirement by taking AH 220 in conjunction with a 3- or 4-credit art history course at the 200 or 300 level.

Note: For information about double-counting of courses between majors and minors, see "Multiple Counting of Courses" under Academic Requirements and Regulations in this catalog.

Because advanced research in any aspect of art history requires foreign languages (generally French or Italian and/or German, plus any language appropriate to your area, e.g., Chinese), we recommend language study. We also recommend additional art history courses (including independent studies, museum/gallery internships, and the senior thesis) and/or courses in related fields, such as literature, history, philosophy, anthropology, religion, arts administration, and studio art.

Students may receive AP (Advanced Placement) credit in art history. A score of 4 or 5 earns the student four college credits. It is the program's policy that the AP credits can count as AH 100 and may be applied toward a major or minor in art history. A score of 5 will automatically receive this credit; a score of 4 requires consultation with the director of the Art History program before it is approved.

See Art History