Major & Minor Requirements

Major Requirements

Students who declare a major in Art History and Archaeology must satisfy the requirements listed below to qualify for graduation.

Introductory Courses

All majors should take the two one-semester “introductions” during their freshman or sophomore years. These courses serve as prerequisites for all upper-level lecture courses. They may be taken in any sequence.

  • L01 111  Introduction to Asian Art (Spring)
  • L01 112  Introduction to Western Art (Fall)*

*A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Art History exam may be substituted for Introduction to Western Art.  To substitute a 4 or 5 on the AP Art History exam, the score must appear on your Washington University student record and you must earn at least a B in a related upper division departmental course.

Major credit hours

All majors must take at least 24 upper-level (300 or 400) Art History and Archaeology credits. One 200-level course home-based in the Department of Art History and Archaeology may be substituted for a 300-level course. These include, but are not limited to, “Introduction to Modern Art, Architecture and Design” and “Myths and Monuments.” Alternately, students in Arts & Sciences, Business, and Engineering schools may substitute one studio course of three or more credits (taken at any level in the Sam Fox School, or at another institution with prior permission) for a 300-level course. This option, which can be taken Pass/Fail, is meant to encourage a student's exploration and understanding of the practice of making art. But of the 24 credits required at the 300 level or above for the major, no less than 21 credits MUST be completed at the 300 or 400 level. We strongly encourage students to take studio courses above and beyond all requirements for the art history major. Any course taken outside the university or abroad must receive prior approval from your art history advisor. 

Intro to World Archaeology (L52 200) does not count as an Ancient distribution (see no. 4 below) but may count toward the major. Freshman seminars do not count toward the major. Courses for the major may not be taken with Credit/No Credit or Pass/Fail option. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all classes.

Distribution

Majors must take at least one upper-level course in three of the following five broad areas: (a) Ancient and Medieval; (b) Renaissance and Baroque; (c) Modern European and American; (d) Non-Western; or (e) Architecture.

Declaring the major

Students declare the major through their student account in WebSTAC. New Majors should arrange an orientation meeting (approximately 30 minutes) with William Wallace, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Art History and Archaeology. Please be sure to bring a hardcopy of your unofficial transcript from WebSTAC to the meeting. 

Capstone Experience

Seminars are considered the “Capstone” experience for Majors in Art History and Archaeology. Seminars are listed as 400-level courses, consist of small enrollments, and focus on discussion and research projects. Majors must take two seminars that are home-based in the Department of Art History and Archaeology (cross-listed courses based in other departments or schools, even if they are listed as 400-level, may count toward the major but will not count as seminars for this purpose). Lecture courses (300-level) usually serve as prerequisites for seminars. The two required seminars must be taken with different faculty members, although they may both be in the same distribution area. Seminars are usually taken in the senior year, but may also be taken in the junior year, if the student has the preparation appropriate to the course. We recommend that only one seminar be taken at a time.

Please note: L01 4900 Independent Study and Research does not fulfill the seminar requirement. 

Minor Requirements

The Department of Art History and Archaeology welcomes students who wish to pursue a minor in Art History and Archaeology. The minor consists of 18 credit hours: 2 courses at the introductory level and 4 courses at an advanced level.  These courses may not be taken under the Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit option.  Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all classes.

Required introductory courses

  • L01-111                                  Introduction to Asian Art (spring)
  • L01-113                                  Introduction to Western Art (fall) *

*A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Art History exam may be substituted for this course.  To substitute a 4 or 5 on the AP Art History exam, the score must appear on your Washington University student record and you must earn at least a B in a related upper division departmental course.

Minor credit hours

Four courses above the introductory level must be chosen from at least two of the following five areas:

  1. Ancient and Medieval Art and Archaeology
  2. European Renaissance and Baroque Art
  3. Modern American and European Art
  4. Non-Western Art and Archaeology
  5. Architecture

Of these four courses, one L01 Art History and Archaeology course may now be taken at the 200-level and the others at the 300-level. You may opt to take a seminar at the 400-level but it should build upon a 300-level course in a related field, or meet the proper prerequisites, or permission of the instructor. In cases of over-enrollment in seminars, priority will be given to majors over minors, including majors who have been waitlisted.  

Please note:

  • Courses in other departments (including courses in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts) do not count for the minor unless they are cross-listed as Art History and Archaeology courses at the 300 level or above.
  • At least two of the 300-level courses must be completed in residence at Washington University.
  • No internship credit may be applied to the minor (internship credits do count toward graduation, however).

Declaring the minor

You should declare the minor through your student account in WebStac.