Mar 25, 2023  
Catalogue 2022-2023 
Catalogue 2022-2023

Art History Major

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Art Department

Required Units

Total number of units required for major, excluding any required Intensive(s): 10

Required Intensive units, if any: 1.5

Total units required: 11.5

Distributional Content Area Units Required

Three units at the 200-level with the following requirements:

  • A one-unit course with a pre-1300 focus
  • A one-unit course focused on a historical period between 1300 and 1850
  • A one-unit course with a post-1850 focus

Two one-unit 300-level seminars taught by different faculty members.


  • Two 200-level electives
  • One additional elective



The selection and sequence of courses for the major should be planned closely with the major advisor. Students are advised to take a broad range of courses and are strongly encouraged to take at least one studio course. Students considering graduate study in art history are advised to take courses in languages relevant to areas of interest. Students interested in careers in architectural design, preservation, or architectural history should consult with members of the Art Department faculty with special interests in architecture. Special programs in art history and studio art can be devised to prepare students for graduate study in these areas.

Additional Information

The major consists of 11.5 units, including 1.5 units of Intensive work. 9 units, including ART 105  and ART 106 , must be graded art history courses taken at Vassar. Two units may be taken in studio art or architectural design, or may be transferred from work completed outside of Vassar, such as courses taken during Junior Year Abroad.

Majors concentrating in art history are required to write a senior essay, based upon independent research and supervised by a member of the department. Petitions for exemption from this requirement, granted only in special circumstances, must be submitted to the chair in writing by the first day of classes in the A semester.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Art Department