Art and Art History

The Art and Art History Department offers majors in Art History and Art (with concentrations in Drawing/Printmaking, Painting, Sculpture, and Digital Art/Photography).

Major in Art

A major in Art (Drawing/Printmaking, Painting, Sculpture, and Digital Art/Photography) consists of eleven courses; ten courses in the studio discipline and one course in art history. An Art major’s specific course requirements depend on the area of concentration (See Required Courses). Art majors have the option of taking a second art history course in place of one of their studio art electives, with permission of the department. All Art majors are required to take the Senior Seminar course in the fall semester of senior year in order to produce portfolios of work reflecting their capabilities in their declared area of concentration.

Integrated Writing

Writing is central to the discipline of art history. While images, objects, and structures have infinitely diverse origins and afterlives, writing about them gives shape and meaning in ways that can be shared, interpreted, debated, and preserved. As in so many pursuits and professions, in art history writing is an essential way of thinking. All Art History courses at Georgetown include writing. At the introductory (100-) level, these often include variations on the “formal analysis”: a concentrated, selective account of the prime visual characteristics of an individual work studied in person, not reproduction. This reveals how much writing can be a powerful tool not only of communication, but also of observation itself; one cannot effectively describe and analyze without taking time to see and think.

Courses at the intermediate (200-/300-) level typically include longer papers requiring deeper and broader analysis of art within historical contexts. Matters of production, patronage, functions, interpretation, markets, and much more come variously into play. While working with an array of sources (often combining primary texts and secondary scholarship), students are encouraged to research and write in ways that also recognize works of art themselves as primary sources ripe with information of many kinds.

In addition to papers and other formal writing assignments, most exams in courses at the introductory and intermediate levels include written components (comparisons, essays) that develop synthesis and critical analysis.

Advanced (400-) level courses in art history consist chiefly of seminars, which are dedicated to advanced, collaborative inquiry. Immersion in a topic (historical period, artist, theme, etc.) combines with sustained attention to methodology-the varied means and ends of research and writing within the discipline. With shorter papers cultivating analysis in any number of concentrated directions, most seminars culminate in a term paper developed from several weeks or more of research, discussion, revision, oral presentation, and final writing.

The Integrated Writing Requirement for Art History majors is fulfilled by their completion of three courses at the advanced level.

Major in Art History

A major in Art History consists of ten courses; nine in Art History, and one studio course.

Required Courses for the Majors

Art: (Drawing/Printmaking, Sculpture, Painting, and Digital Art/Photography)
(33 hours; 11 courses)

  • 1 Design (ARTS-100 Exploring Art: Form and Meaning)
  • 1 Drawing I
  • 1 Art History
  • 1 Senior Project: Seminar
  • 2 Studio Art Electives (or 1 Studio Art and 1 Art History with department permission.)
  • 5 Courses in one Concentration (Students must choose one concentration from four areas below.)
The Four Art Concentration Areas:

Drawing/Printmaking Concentration:

5 classes from ARTS-110–129, 210–229, 310–329, 410–429

Sculpture Concentration:

5 classes from ARTS-003, 140–149, 240–249, 340–349, 440–449

Painting Concentration:

5 classes from ARTS-210–219, 150–159, 250–259, 350–359, 450–459

Digital Art/Photography Concentration:

5 classes from ARTS-123, 130–139, 160–169, 230–239, 260–269, 330–339, 360–369, 430–439, 460–469

Art History
(30 hours; 10 courses)

  • 2 Introductory courses, ARTH-101, 102 (or AP score of 4 or 5. A student placing out of ARTH-101 and  102 may take 9 rather than 10 courses for the major).
  • 4 Introductory or Intermediate (ARTH 100–200 level) courses from at least three of the following groups: Ancient/Medieval; Renaissance/Baroque; Modern/American; and Non-European art.
  • 1 Studio Art course
  • 3 Advanced (400 level) courses. At least two courses must be art history seminars. ARTH-470 (Museum Internship) or ARTH-490 (Senior Thesis) or an approved AMUS or cross-listed seminar may replace the third art history seminar with prior permission of supervising professor.
Minor in Art and Art History

A minor in Art History or Art consists of six courses in that discipline. It is possible to major in one discipline and minor in the other. Minors who are not majors in either Art or Art History may take one course in the other discipline for credit toward the minor, with approval. For both minors, at least four courses must be taken within the department.


  • 1 Design (ARTS-100 Exploring Art: Form and Meaning) and 5 other Art courses. One may be an art history course, with advisor’s approval.

Art History

6 Art History courses:

  • 1 course dealing mainly with art before 1600
  • 1 course dealing mainly with art after 1600
  • 4 other art history or approved cross-listed courses. One elective may be an art course, with advisor’s approval.

(For course listings for Art and Art History see