Art History (2022 - 2024)
Major in Art History
The major comprises nine 4-point courses (36 points) as follows:
- Foundations of Art History (ARTH-UA 10; 4 points) is required of all majors (but see section below on advanced standing credit).
- One 4-point course in ancient or medieval art or architecture (from any cultural tradition) chosen from the following: ARTH-UA 3-4, 101-105, 110, 150, 201-205, 250. Certain ARTH-UA 550 courses may also satisfy this requirement when the content is appropriate.
- One 4-point course in early modern art or architecture (from any cultural tradition) chosen from the following: ARTH-UA 5, 301-309, 311, 313, 315-316, 350, 507, 511-512, 520, 531, 541. Certain ARTH-UA 550 courses may also satisfy this requirement when the content is appropriate.
- One 4-point advanced course in modern art or architecture (from any cultural tradition) chosen from the following: ARTH-UA 6, 404, 407-409, 411-414, 431-433, 450, 511, 531, 541, 560, 570, 701.
- Cultural traditions requirement: two 4-point courses in art or architecture from two distinct traditions, chosen from the following:
- Africa and the ancient Near East: ARTH-UA 110, 560, and 550 or 800 when the content is appropriate.
- East Asia: ARTH-UA 507, 510-512, 520, and 550 or 800 when the content is appropriate.
- Europe and the Americas: ARTH-UA 1-6, 101-105, 201-205, 301-309, 311, 313, 315-317, 404, 407-409, 411-414, 431-433, 701, and 800 when the content is appropriate.
- Islamic: ARTH-UA 540-541.
- Pre-Columbian, Native American, and Oceanic: ARTH-UA 570, and 550 when the content is appropriate.
- South and Southeast Asian: ARTH-UA 530-531.
- Two Advanced Seminars (ARTH-UA 800) to be taken during the junior or senior year. Students must have completed four art history courses before enrolling in an advanced seminar.
- One ARTH-UA elective chosen from any non-survey courses or any approved course offered in another department or at an NYU study away site. Any course in the urban design and architecture studies program may be counted as an elective for the art history major. Other proposed substitutions must be discussed with and approved by the director of undergraduate studies prior to election of the course in question.
Major in Classics and Art History
For details of this interdepartmental major, refer to the description under the Department of Classics in this Bulletin. With prior departmental approval, students can count two courses from any single NYU study away site toward this major and may count a total of three courses from more than one site.
Major in Urban Design and Architecture Studies
This major requires nine 4-point courses (36 points). Students work with the program director to achieve career-oriented goals within the major. Course work must include the following:
- Survey requirement (two courses/8 points). Students take both:
- History of Architecture from Antiquity to the Present (ARTH-UA 601)
- Shaping the Urban Environment (ARTH-UA 661)
- A combination of core courses and cross-referenced courses, chosen from the following: ARTH-UA 104-105, ARTH-UA 205, ARTH-UA 301-302, ARTH-UA 408-409, ARTH-UA 602, ARTH-UA 650, ARTH-UA 662-663.
- Seminar requirement: at least one seminar chosen from ARTH-UA 670-679, ARTH-UA 681.
Minor in Art History
Four 4-point ARTH-UA courses (16 points) that do not overlap in content. At least one must focus on non-western art, or on a field other than modern or contemporary.
Minor in Urban Design and Architecture Studies
Any four 4-point courses (16 points) from URDS offerings that do not overlap in content.
Policies Applying to Departmental Majors and Minors
Credit toward the art history and urban design major or minor is granted only for courses completed with a grade of C or higher. Courses graded Pass/Fail do not count.
In the art history major, students may use one course to satisfy both a chronological requirement and a cultural traditions requirement (for example, one course might fulfill the early modern art requirement as well as one of the two required courses in cultural traditions). Students who double-count courses toward major requirements in this fashion will need to take one or more additional electives to reach the major’s statutory minimum of nine 4-point courses.
The following courses satisfy either the early modern or modern art and architecture requirement in the art history major, not both: ARTH-UA 5, 316, 317, 511, 520, 531, 541.
In addition, the following courses may be used to satisfy only one of the ancient, early modern, or modern art and architecture requirements in the art history major: ARTH-UA 506, 507, 512.
Students cannot receive credit for both History of Western Art I (ARTH-UA 1) and Ancient Art (ARTH-UA 3) or Medieval Art (ARTH-UA 4); or for both History of Western Art II (ARTH-UA 2) and Renaissance and Baroque Art (ARTH-UA 5) or Modern Art (ARTH-UA 6), as their contents overlap.
Art history courses taken in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development may not be double-counted for credit toward an art history minor. However, for Steinhardt students taking a minor in art history, the two-semester Steinhardt survey Art and Contemporary Culture is the prerequisite for advanced Renaissance, baroque, and modern courses. Art and Contemporary Culture II may only serve as the prerequisite for advanced modern courses.
Advanced Standing Credit
A score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Art History examination, or a score of A on the Advanced Level History of Art examination, exempts students from Foundations of Art History (ARTH-UA 10) and counts as one course toward the major (i.e., the major can be completed with eight courses). Note that the Advanced Level exam awards 8 points; 4 are equivalent to ARTH-UA 10, and the other 4 are ARTH-UA elective points that count toward the baccalaureate degree but not the major.
Lower scores on AP and A Levels do not count toward the major or exempt students from ARTH-UA 10, although scores of 4 and B respectively do count as elective credit toward the baccalaureate degree.
Advanced standing credits cannot count toward the minor.
Courses in the College Core Curriculum
Students majoring or minoring in art history or urban design and architecture studies are exempt from the College Core Curriculum's Expressive Culture requirement. Students who wish to have a Core Expressive Culture course (CORE-UA 720, CORE-UA 721, or CORE-UA 722) count for credit toward either major must secure the permission of the director of undergraduate studies for art history or the director of the urban design and architecture studies program.
Graduation with Departmental Honors
Students may graduate with departmental honors in art history or in urban design and architecture studies by successfully researching and writing a senior thesis. This represents the culmination of the work for the major and provides excellent preparation for graduate school. To be eligible for the honors program, students must have a GPA of 3.65 or higher at the conclusion of the junior year, both overall and in art history or in urban design and architecture studies. A student wishing to write an honors thesis must apply for admission to the program via the department’s NYU Classes site in early March of the junior year. For a complete description of all the honors thesis requirements, please visit our departmental NYU Classes site for honors-track students.
Work toward the senior thesis consists of two 4-point honors courses (ARTH-UA 801 and ARTH-UA 804) focusing on research methods and writing, accompanied by regular meetings with the supervising professor. The completed thesis, at least 30 to 40 pages in length, is read by a committee of three faculty members, including the supervising professor. The committee meets with the student for a thesis defense at the end of the academic year. Satisfactory completion of the thesis, in the committee's judgment, earns an honors degree. These two honors courses may replace the two electives required for the major.
Under exceptional circumstances, the Department of Art History awards academic credit (2 points) for an internship accompanied by an independent study. Students must find a professor willing to supervise this study. Course work may include a written diary recording the student's work experience and will include a term paper relevant to the internship, to be approved by the supervising professor. The independent study must also be approved by the director of undergraduate studies.