Arts Major: Art History Option (B.A.)

Arts Major: Art History Option (B.A.)

students in museum

What is art history?

How do we define and value beauty? What is the role of the visual in the human experience? Art history is the study of art through the ages, and in this degree program you’ll learn to research, interpret and analyze art within broader cultural and historical perspectives. You’ll undertake a comprehensive, in-depth study of Western art from the ancient world to the present, and also be exposed to non-Western cultures and artistic traditions. Our graduates are well prepared for careers within the arts, as well as further study in fields such as architecture, business or law.

Why study art history at UNH?

You will find a small and friendly group of faculty and students, combined with the resources of a large university.Our campus is located within easy visiting distance of the culturally rich community of Portsmouth, as well as museums (the Currier in Manchester, the Peabody-Essex in Salem, the Portland Museum of Art, and the MFA and Gardner in Boston, among others). You will also have the opportunity to develop as an artist by pursuing a dual option in art history and studio art.Be sure to look for scholarship opportunities, including for incoming students, on the department website under the“Opportunities” tab.

Potential careers

  • Architect
  • Art critic
  • Art librarian
  • Art teacher
  • Artist
  • Gallery curator
  • Museum curator
  • Publisher
  • Travel guide
  • Writer

Contact

Connect with us

This form is only for prospective students who are not already enrolled at UNH. If you are a current UNH student and interested in this program, please reach out to the contact on this page.


  • Art History and Geography Majors
    Megan Cooper has either attended or worked at sleepaway camps more summers of her life than not. These experiences instilled in her “a love for environments created for kids to be themselves, grow, explore, create, and gain confidence and independence.” Such a childhood can also produce the kind of...
    Art History and Geography Majors
    Megan Cooper has either attended or worked at sleepaway camps more summers of her life than not. These experiences instilled in her “a love for environments created for kids to be themselves, grow, explore, create, and gain confidence and independence.” Such a childhood can also produce the kind of...
  • Art History and Italian Studies Majors | Graduate Student
    UNH was a place where I felt free to find what I was most passionate about. I also felt enormously supported by my professors, resident hall directors, bosses, and peers.
    Art History and Italian Studies Majors | Graduate Student
    UNH was a place where I felt free to find what I was most passionate about. I also felt enormously supported by my professors, resident hall directors, bosses, and peers.
  • Art History | Tech Assistant, Robischon Gallery
    Read more about Sarah's success using her Art History degree on UNH Tales.
    Art History | Tech Assistant, Robischon Gallery
    Read more about Sarah's success using her Art History degree on UNH Tales.
  • Art History Major | Manager of Design and Construction, San Francisco
    Read more about Brett's success using his Art History degree on UNH Tales.
    Art History Major | Manager of Design and Construction, San Francisco
    Read more about Brett's success using his Art History degree on UNH Tales.
  • Art History Major | Textile and CAD Designer, Town & Country Living
     Read more about Catie's success using her Art History degree on UNH Tales.
    Art History Major | Textile and CAD Designer, Town & Country Living
     Read more about Catie's success using her Art History degree on UNH Tales.

Curriculum & Requirements

The art history curriculum provides a comprehensive, in-depth study of Western art from the ancient world to the present as well as some exposure to non-Western cultures and artistic traditions. All courses in the program teach basic skills of interpretation and critical analysis within the framework of broad cultural perspectives that connect the visual arts to larger historical developments. They also teach good writing and research skills. In addition, art history majors typically branch out into other fields, such as history, literature and foreign languages. By the time they graduate, most majors are well equipped to pursue such traditional careers in the field as museum and gallery work, teaching, publishing or librarianship. But because art historical education is so broad, it also prepares students for a variety of other, more flexible options, such as law, business or architecture.

Students must complete a minimum of 10 courses (40 credits). The following courses are required:

ARTH 480Introduction to Art History4
ARTS 532Introductory Drawing4
ARTH 795Understanding Art History: An In-Depth Overview (Capstone)4
ARTH 799Seminar in Art History4
Art History Courses: Select six, 600/700-level courses from the areas below (one 500-level may be used):
Pre-Renaissance Courses (Select one)4
ARTH 674
Greek Art and Architecture
ARTH 675
Roman Art and Architecture
ARTH 677
Early Medieval Art
ARTH 678
Romanesque and Gothic Art
Renaissance/Baroque Courses (Select one)4
ARTH 583
Baroque Art: Realism, Caricature, Shock
ARTH 679
Northern Renaissance Art I
ARTH 680
Iconoclasm and Collecting: The Art of Early Modern Northern Europe
ARTH 681
Early Renaissance Art
ARTH 682
The High Renaissance
ARTH 684
Baroque Art in Northern Europe
ARTH 685
Graphic Art of the Renaissance and Baroque Periods
Modern Art Courses (Select one)4
ARTH 587
Art in an Age of Revolutions, c. 1715-1900
ARTH 654
17th and 18th Century American Architecture
ARTH 655
Nineteenth-Century Architecture: The Architecture of Empire
ARTH 656
Twentieth-Century Architecture: Modern and Contemporary
ARTH 686
Sex and Sensuality in 18th-Century Art
ARTH 688
Histories of Late 19th & 20th Century European Modernism
ARTH 689
Contemporary Art and Theory: 1945-2000
ARTH 693
American Art
ARTH 694
Vision and Modernity: From Panorama to Early Film
Electives: Pre-Renaissance, Baraque or Modern Art (select three additional courses)12
ARTH 583
Baroque Art: Realism, Caricature, Shock
ARTH 587
Art in an Age of Revolutions, c. 1715-1900
ARTH 654
17th and 18th Century American Architecture
ARTH 655
Nineteenth-Century Architecture: The Architecture of Empire
ARTH 656
Twentieth-Century Architecture: Modern and Contemporary
ARTH 674
Greek Art and Architecture
ARTH 675
Roman Art and Architecture
ARTH 677
Early Medieval Art
ARTH 678
Romanesque and Gothic Art
ARTH 679
Northern Renaissance Art I
ARTH 680
Iconoclasm and Collecting: The Art of Early Modern Northern Europe
ARTH 681
Early Renaissance Art
ARTH 682
The High Renaissance
ARTH 684
Baroque Art in Northern Europe
ARTH 685
Graphic Art of the Renaissance and Baroque Periods
ARTH 686
Sex and Sensuality in 18th-Century Art
ARTH 689
Contemporary Art and Theory: 1945-2000
ARTH 693
American Art
ARTH 694
Vision and Modernity: From Panorama to Early Film
Total Credits40

These courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C-. Art history students receive preferential placement in ARTS 532 Introductory Drawing. Students contemplating graduate school should learn German, and, if possible, either French, Italian, or another language relevant to their areas of interest.

The Discovery Program capstone requirement may be fulfilled by completing ARTH 795 Understanding Art History: An In-Depth Overview.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Art history majors may use two major-required courses to satisfy two Discovery category requirements.

  • We expect our art history majors to become conversant with some of the major conventions artists and architects have subscribed to over the millenia, and with how these have been bent or broken and why.
  • We expect them to learn to write cogently and clearly, and to be able to analyze orally on the spot what they see in a work of art or architecture, often by comparison and contrast with works they know well.

Explore Program Details

Students can elect to receive a B.A. in the Arts with both the Studio Art option and the Art History option. Students must complete the requirements for both options; no more than 8 credits used to satisfy one option can be used as requirements for the other option. Please contact your advisor for more information.

The Department of Art and Art History awards a scholarship specifically for incoming, first-year art history students, the Edwin & Mary Scheier Incoming Freshman Art History Scholarship. Please contact the art history coordinator as early as possible if you wish to be considered for this scholarship.  Your letter should describe your interest in art history.

See all Art and Art History Scholarships and fellowships

take the next step

student outside building on campus
LEARN HOW TO APPLY
Students on the lawn at Thompson Hall
SCHEDULE A VISIT
student at career event
REQUEST INFORMATION