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Professor Emeritus, T.J. Clark. Photo: Erin Babnik.
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Judith Stronach Graduate Travel Seminar to London and Madrid, 2012
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Graduate students William Coleman and Cristin McKnight Sethi in the History of Art/Classic Library
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Berkeley Art Museum, UC Berkeley
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Professor Todd Olson at the British Museum. Judith Stronach Graduate Travel Seminar to London and Madrid, 2012.
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Assistant Professor Sugata Ray in the classroom

Major Requirements

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Focus of Study

Four Upper Division courses of taught in the Department will comprise the Focus of Study. Students who declared prior to Fall 2017 are also required to include the one course taught outside the Department. Each student must select a Focus of Study by no later than the second semester of the junior year. By selecting a focus, students engage a specific field/period/topic in a cluster of relevant courses taught within and outside the Department. The focus must be approved by an Undergraduate Faculty Advisor.

Examples include (but are not limited to): 

The Ancient World                           Art and Gender

The Renaissance World                  Modernities and the Arts

The Body in Art                                Globalism and the Arts

Art and Religion                               Urban Culture

Popular Culture                               Material Culture


Advising and Appointments with Major Advisors

Declared majors must see an Undergraduate Advisor, in person each semester during the registration period (advisors are listed on the Department website and in the Department office). These advising meetings provide majors with the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member who can help them develop an overall program of study well-suited to individual strengths and career goals. The advisors also apprise majors of special courses and opportunities, both in the History of Art Department and elsewhere. Please note that faculty advisors are typically not available during the official University holidays or recesses. Advising appointments can be made by signing up online:


In addition to general advising and coursework approval, advisors must approve all changes in registration, including withdrawals and add-drop changes, certain special study courses (History of Art 193, 194, H195, 199), and some special programs.

Appointments should be made well in advance of deadlines (e.g. course enrollment). To make the most efficient use of advising appointments for course enrollment, students should consider carefully the department’s course descriptions, and plan a schedule of proposed courses to be discussed with the advisor. Special additional office hours are held during enrollment periods, and advisors may decline to provide last-minute advising. Advisor codes will only be given out over the phone or via email if a student is studying abroad or is unable to come to campus for reason of a serious emergency.

 Departmental Undergraduate Advisors do not administer or approve coursework or degree requirements in the College of Letters and Science other than the requirements of the major. For L&S requirements, students should make an appointment to see an L&S advisor in 206 Evans Hall.

Transfer of Credit

Undergraduate Advisors may credit courses taken at other institutions toward completion of the History of Art major at UC Berkeley. This process is independent of the transfer of credit toward completion of L&S requirements for graduation. Transfer students should come to their first departmental advising appointment with copies of transcripts from all institutions they have attended previously as well as information about the content and requirements of the courses they wish to transfer. Courses taken at community colleges may only fulfill Lower Division requirements for the History of Art major. Coursework from other universities or 4-year colleges may be considered for Upper Division major requirements. Please note as well the residency requirements under “Special Restrictions for all Majors.”

HA Major Progress/Academic Progress Report:

History of Art does not use the Academic Progress Report (APR). To review major progress, check with the Undergraduate advisor.

UC Berkeley Summer Session Courses and Major Requirements

Two Summer Session lecture courses—in History of Art or for the requirement of one course taught outside the department—and an Art Practice course may be credited to completion of the major.

 Approval of Other Courses

On occasion, courses taught in other departments may fulfill major requirements with the approval in advance by a History of Art Undergraduate Advisor.

 Grades and Credits

Letter Grade: All courses to be counted toward completion of the Major, with the exception of the Art Practice requirement which may only be taken Pass/Not Pass, must be taken for a letter grade, earning a C- minus or higher. Majors must attain at least a C (2.0) average overall in all of the courses required in the major program.

Declaring the History of Art Major: Prior to declaring the major, students must complete two courses taught in the department and receive a grade of C- or higher in each course.

AP Credit: Course credit may be given to students who receive a score of four or five on the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination in History of Art. This credit may be used to satisfy one lower division course requirement.


A minimum of five upper division courses must be taken in the History of Art Department at Berkeley, of which one must be a 4-unit seminar. L&S requirements note that you must complete a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding study abroad units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for this major.

Note that after you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned) you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters; there is a Modified Senior Residence Requirement for participants in EAP/Non-EAP or UCB-DC programs. See L&S Residency Requirements for details.

Suggestions for All Majors 

  1.       Foreign languages Students planning on graduate study in the History of Art are urged to develop a reading knowledge of a foreign language. Study of one or more languages may also be useful to various arts related jobs.
  2.       Course loads vary but students should be aware that 15 units is considered a normal load; 13 units is the minimum for a full time student. 


If, at any time, a student has a complaint, the Department has an “Undergraduate Appeals Procedure” which should be followed. A copy of this procedure may be obtained from the Undergraduate Assistant or at Appeals to the Deans’ Conference. Its purpose is to permit students in the History of Art Department to resolve complaints at the department level prior to filing complaints pursuant to the Berkeley Campus Student Grievance Procedure.

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