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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

Major Requirements, Pre-Fall 2017

Students who declare the major in History of Art from the Fall 2017 semester will complete requirements in the redesigned major shown under the Fall 2017+ tab. Those who declared prior to the Fall 2017 semester will complete requirements under the previous major, listed on this page.


The Major in History of Art is designed to give students a solid grounding in the artistic traditions, practices, and contexts that comprise historical and contemporary visuality. Equally it introduces the discipline’s history, methods, and debates. It prepares students to do independent research, to evaluate evidence, to create coherent and sustained arguments, and to develop skills in academic writing. In a series of increasingly focused courses—Lower division, Upper Division, Seminar, and Honors Program—the major provides a format for students to learn how to analyze and interpret visual, material, and textual evidence from specific cultural settings and historical circumstances. Major requirements are also designed to maximize exposure to different historical periods, geographical regions, and topics, while allowing flexibility for students to their pursue specific interests by selecting a Focus of Study.

44-52 units total

I. LOWER DIVISION (4 courses)

A. Three History of Art Courses (9-12 units)

Majors must complete 9 to 12 units of Lower Division course work in the History of Art. These units may come from courses taken in the Department, courses taken at other institutions granted transfer credit for the Major by the Department, or from AP Art History (score of 4 or 5). Courses that qualify for Lower Division requirements include:

    4 unit lecture courses: HA10, 11, 34, 35, 51, 62, etc.
    3 unit lecture courses.

Additional requirement: These three courses must include one course in Western art and one course in non-Western art.

B. One Art Practice/Materials Course (2-4 units)

Students must complete 2, 3, or 4 units in a course that introduces specific art making practices and/or the study of the materials of art. This course must be approved in advance by an Undergraduate Advisor in History of Art. It may be taken P/NP. Applicable courses are typically offered in the Practice of Art Department, College of Environmental Design, and program in New Media Studies. Students may also take courses that involve the making of art taught occasionally in the Department.


In their Upper Division course work in History of Art (total 26-28 units; 8 of these units in Seminars), each student must take courses in 4 of the following 5 Geographical areas and 1 course in each of the Chronological periods.

       Geographical:                                              Chronological:
       A) Europe and the Mediterranean           I) Prehistoric – 1200
       B) Asia and the Pacific                                II) 1200 – 1800
       C) The Americas                                          III) 1800 – present
       D) Middle East and Africa 
       E) Trans-cultural

Upper Division lecture courses (3 or 4 units) and seminars (2 or 4 units) may fulfill these breadth requirements. Upper Division classes (lecture or seminar) can fulfill both a Geographical requirement and a Chronological requirement.

A. Five Lecture Courses (18-20 units)
Up to two of these courses may be 3 unit courses.

B. Seminars (8 units)

Students in the major are required to complete 8 units of seminar study, of which 4 units (incorporating a research paper component) must be in their Focus of Study. The remaining four units may be taken as follows:

            A second 4-unit seminar with research paper.
            Two 2-unit seminars without research papers.

Individual faculty members will decide when a given seminar can be taken for 2 units. 2-unit seminars require active participation and completion of weekly readings and writing assignments. 4-unit seminars add a final research paper.


A. Theories/Methods (4 units)

All students in the major are required to take either HA100 or HA101. These courses, offered in fall and spring semesters, focus on historiography and theoretical/philosophical models in the History of Art, on practical methods of art historical inquiry, or a combination thereof. Students should take HA100 or HA101 early in their work in the major. We encourage students intending to pursue graduate training in the History of Art or related disciplines to take both courses.

B. Upper Division Course Outside the Department (3 or 4 units)

Students must take for a grade one upper division lecture course or seminar in another department. The course should support each student’s Focus of Study in art history. It must be approved in advance by an Undergraduate Faculty Advisor in History of Art. Courses that may be approved are typically offered by Arts and Humanities and Social Science departments and the College of Environmental Design.

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