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BA in Art History

Degree Program Description

Art History combines the study of art, artifacts, and the built environment with the study of culture. By developing skills in visual literacy, critical thinking and writing, and historical research, students learn to situate objects and structures within their cultural contexts and explore how they fashion, preserve, and challenge beliefs and values. The discipline of art history offers a unique perspective on the past since it considers the places history was made as well as the images, objects, and documents that recorded it. Moreover, art history’s attention to the lives of objects–their production, use, and reception–makes it inherently cross-cultural and interdisciplinary. Students are encouraged to draw on other subjects of study, including archaeology, anthropology, business, gender studies, literature, music, religion, science, and technology, and to transfer that knowledge to their understanding of art history and visual studies. The wide range of skills acquired in the BA program prepares students for a variety of employment opportunities in the creative economy. Recent graduates are employed by museums, galleries, non-profit arts organizations, government agencies, libraries, schools, and businesses across the nation and around the world. They curate exhibitions, edit publications, develop educational programming, manage community outreach projects, teach students of all ages, and work to preserve the nation’s architectural and cultural heritage. They also participate in strategic development, human resource and operations management, and long-term planning for private and public companies. Finally, many students continue their studies at the graduate level in art and architectural history, art conservation, education, law, library science, and museum studies.

Major Program Requirements

In addition to University general education requirements and other college and University graduation requirements, students must meet the following requirements:

Course requirements36
Students must take ARH_VS 1130 and ARH_VS 2850W or WH (Students who have taken one or both halves of the traditional survey may apply them here.)6
The General Honors Humanities Sequence (GN_HON 2111H, GN_HON 2112H, GN_HON 2113H, GN_HON 2114H)
Four ARH_VS courses at the 3000 level or above, 12 credit hours with at least one course in three out of four distribution areas: Ancient, Medieval-Renaissance, Early Modern, Modern & Contemporary.12
Two courses at the 4000 level6
Three electives in the SVS at any level, at least two of which must be in other areas other than Art History (Art, Film Studies, Digital Storytelling)9
ARH_VS 4970Capstone: Visual Studies - Art History1

Language Requirement

The Art History major requires study through the reading level (i.e. 12 or 13 credits) in one modern language, such as French, German, Italian, or Spanish. Students who plan to attend graduate school are strongly urged to begin study of one or more languages.

Courses Recommended for a Well-Rounded Degree

Art History students should take additional courses in the Humanities, including anthropology, classical humanities, film studies, history, literature, religious studies, and philosophy.

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
ENGLSH 10003MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 12003
American History OR Government Course3ARH_VS 2000W/HW+ level Course3
ARH_VS 11303Biological/Physical Science Course w/Lab4
Behavioral Science Course3Behavioral Science Course3
Humanities/Fine Arts Course3Humanities/Fine Arts Course3
 15 16
Second Year
ARH_VS 3000+ Distribution3ARH_VS 3000+ Distribution3
Second language I4Second language II4
Math Reasoning Proficiency Course3Biological/Physical Science Course w/Lab5
Humanities Course 2000+3Behavioral Science Course3
 13 15
Third Year
ARH_VS 3000+ Distribution3ARH_VS 4000 Level Course3
Second language III4SVS Elective 1000+3
Social Science Course3Social Science Course 2000+3
Humanities Course 2000+3Elective3
 16 15
Fourth Year
ARH_VS 4000 Level Class3ARH_VS 4000 Level Course3
SVS Elective 3000+3ARH_VS 49701
Elective 3000+3SVS Elective 1000+3
Elective 3000+3Elective 3000+3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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