Art History Major

Through small classes covering a rich variety of art (painting, sculpture, printmaking, and drawing; photography, video, and film, performance, installation, and digital media) and architecture, one-on-one advisement with full-time Art History and Film Studies faculty, special events such as field trips to New York City museums, and personalized counseling on internships and careers, the Art History major offers students at UAlbany a unique opportunity to excel in an area that is increasingly in demand in today's visually-oriented world.

Art History Research: Students interested in the practice of art history can take a variety of courses to build a broad portfolio of skills and knowledge that will prepare them for a career in the art world as well as graduate school in: art history, visual resources curating and management, other art-related graduate programs, and museum studies. An internship (ARH 490) can be incorporated into this plan.

Hands-On Experience: Students who wish to pursue graduate work in museum studies, work in a museum or gallery or at a historic site, or seek a career in the art market (e.g., at an auction house) can add courses such as Curating Contemporary Art as well as the internship class (ARH 490), which can be taken more than once for credit. Taking advantage of the University at Albany’s unique proximity to public art institutions such as the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Empire Plaza Collection, and the New York State art and artifact conservation labs, the internship allows students to gain experience in settings that emphasize hands-on work with images.

Focus on Film Studies: Students particularly interested in the discipline of film studies, and who aim to work in this area after graduation, can fulfill the art history major’s requirements by taking the majority of their classes in film studies. Some art history majors also choose to pursue a Film Studies minor.

The Art History major emphasizes the following:

  • Situating a work of art in its larger social, political, and theoretical contexts
  • Recognizing scholarly approaches, arguments, and interpretations of art
  • Understanding, managing, and critically assessing art, architecture, moving images, archaeology, and other kinds of visual imagery and design
  • Learning the methods of historical analysis in a global context
  • Gaining skills for advanced writing in the arts, history, and criticism
  • Achieving hands-on experience through internships in museums and other art institutions throughout the Capital District and beyond

Art History majors go on to:

  • Pursue graduate work in art history, archaeology, film studies, museum studies, architecture, arts administration, public history, information science, art conservation, art education, art therapy, and many other fields
  • Work in museums, galleries, historic sites, auction houses, and other art institutions
  • Curate, produce, and manage digital image collections for businesses and nonprofit institutions
  • Work in art education in schools and museums
For more about careers for art historians, click here.

Classes and Advisement

Class sizes in upper-level Art History courses range from lecture courses of twenty to forty students, to advanced research seminars of a dozen students. All of the upper-level Art History courses provide ample opportunity for one-on-one contact between student and professor.
Full-time faculty provide all of the advisement in Art History. Advising is individualized to students' needs and includes career planning and counseling for applying to graduate schools.

Requirements for the Art History Major:

36 credits: 9 credits in core courses, including two introductory surveys and an advanced research seminar
9 credits in Lower Division Electives (200-level)
18 credits in Upper Division Electives (300-level and above)
See All Requirements

Internship Announcement

Internships at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum accepts applications for fall, spring, and summer internships in all museum departments including (but not limited to) Curatorial, Conservation, Development, Education, Finance, Exhibition Management, Marketing, Media and Public Relations, and Publishing and Digital Media. Learn More