Art and Architecture History - Bachelor of Arts in Art and Architecture History

Art and architecture history is an interdisciplinary major that includes the Departments of Art and Architecture + Interior Design, the program in Classical Studies, and the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum. For more information, contact the Department of Art, 124 Art Building, 513-529-2900, or the Department of Architecture + Interior Design,101 Alumni Hall, 513-529-7210. 

This major focuses on the different roles that art, architecture, and visual culture have played in human development across time and cultures. Emphasis is placed on how art reflects not only its specific history, but the aesthetic, social, philosophical, and religious values of the culture that produced it.

Students develop research and writing skills to better understand and critically evaluate the manifestations of the visual arts throughout the world. This program prepares students for careers in communications and publishing, at museums, galleries, and historical societies, as well as in corporations, education, and all areas of the visual arts, including arts administration.

Program Requirements

(42 credit hours)

Foundation Courses
Select three of the following:9
History of Architecture I
History of Architecture II
Art and Society: Prehistoric to Medieval
Art and Society: Renaissance to Modern
Arts of Africa, Oceania and Native America
East Asian Art
Advanced Writing
ART 285Writing and the Visual Arts3
Studio Classes - any ARC or ART studio class3
Suggested courses:
Beginning Design Studio
Beginning Design Studio
Visual Fundamentals: Design and Composition
Observational Drawing
Painting I
Printmaking I
Ceramics I
Jewelry Design and Metals I
Sculpture I
Subject Area Courses24
Select eight of the following - at least one course from each group: 1, 2
1) Art Histories of Africa
Introduction to the Art of the Black Diaspora
The Arts of African Peoples
Arts of West Africa
2) European Art: Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern
The Renaissance in Italy
Art in the Age of Michelangelo
Baroque Art in Europe
The Arts of Colonial Latin America
Greek and Roman Sculpture
Greek and Roman Decorative Arts
Art in the Age of Revolution: 1789-1848
Discoveries of Archaeology
Classical Mythology and the Arts
Antiquity Through a Lens
3) Modern and Contemporary Art
History of Interiors
Seminar on Modern Architecture in Latin America
Architecture and Society
The American City Since 1940
Contemporary Architectural Theory and Practice
Modern America
Modern & Contemporary East Asian Art
The History of Photography
Art Since 1980
Moving Image Art
Art of the Early 20th Century
Postwar to Postmodern, 1945-1980
4) Interdisciplinary Inquiries
Special Lecture Topics in Art History 2
Introduction to the Art of the Black Diaspora
The Arts of Colonial Latin America
Moving Image Art
Seminar in Art History
Senior Capstone Seminar
ART 498History and Methods in Art and Architectural History 33
Total Credit Hours42

A single course may not be used in more than one area.


Certain ART 230 courses can count for any of the subject area categories in addition to Interdisciplinary Inquiries, depending on the topic. See advisor and/or course instructor.


Required during fall semester of senior year.

Note: All courses for the major must be taken for a grade, not credit/no credit. Students must also complete all Miami Plan requirements.


Students hoping to pursue certain academic and/or career goals directly related to art history are encouraged to add the following curricular experiences. None are required, but are designed for certain students with certain academic and professional goals to augment the requirements for the Art and Architecture History major. 

Academic Pathway (for students interested in graduate school):

  • Foreign Language up to 202 level (German and French are commonly required for graduate study in art history, but not exclusively; consult your advisor)

  • ART 480 seminar in Art History

  • Honors Thesis (see Departmental Honors, below)

Museum/Curatorial Pathway (for students interested in working in a museum or gallery):

  • Minor in Museums and Society

  • ART 391 field study internship (see below)

  • At least six (6) credits of studio (or Studio Art minor)

Business Pathway (for students interested in professional and administrative positions in arts institutions)

  • Major or co-major in Arts Management & Arts Entrepreneurship

  • ART 230D: Art and Its Markets

Field Study for Miami Global Plan Experiential Learning

Students have the option of completing a “Field Study” in Art and Architecture History by completing an internship at a museum, gallery, cultural institution, or other appropriate venue (including the Miami University Art Museum). Students who choose to do so can then use that field study to fulfill the Miami Plan Experiential Learning requirement by being concurrently enrolled in ART 391. For more information contact your advisor. 

Departmental Honors

To graduate with Departmental Honors, students must maintain a 3.5 grade point average in the major and complete an honors thesis. Thesis proposals are submitted during the junior year. Successful applicants earn six upper division hours* for research and writing (ART 477C), after which the thesis is submitted for approval to the Departmental Honors committee.

*These credit hours are in addition to the total credits required for the major.

Guidelines for the Research and Writing of the Honors Thesis

  • Students should choose their topic and advisor based upon their area of special interest and qualifications. Applicants should adhere to the proposed schedule of completing research during the fall and completing the writing of the honors thesis during the spring of their senior year unless their advisor agrees upon a different schedule. Students applying to graduate school may want to complete as much of the writing as possible during the fall so that they will have a writing sample to send in with their applications.

  • Applicants should conduct original research on a topic that will demonstrate their knowledge of art history and reflect their personal interests.

  • The honors thesis should investigate a subject in depth and result in an original conclusion. It will normally consist of about thirty pages and include illustrations.

Departmental Honors

To graduate with departmental honors in art and architecture history, students must maintain a 3.50 GPA in the major and complete an honors thesis. Thesis proposals are submitted during the junior year. Successful applicants earn six upper division hours1 for research and writing (ARC 477C), after which the thesis is submitted for approval to the Departmental Honors Committee.


These credit hours are in addition to the upper-division credits required for the major.