Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate program in Art History and Archaeology is robust and thriving. Our students are offered a wide variety of courses ranging from the ancient to the contemporary world. Many student double major in various disciplines in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences such as history, Romance languages, English and comparative literature, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Many double majors are Sam Fox School students pursuing art, architecture, and communication design. We encourage our majors and minors to study foreign languages, archaeology, studio art, and other related disciplines. Students are strongly encouraged to study and/or travel abroad. Particularly popular are study abroad opportunities in France, Italy, the Netherlands, China, and the U.K., but students are encouraged to seek programs relevant to their interests.

Art History provides students with a versatile set of skills: excellent writing and public speaking, critical thinking, and experience in using and applying digital technologies. 

After graduation, our students go on to distinguished programs in art history, archaeology, and visual culture. Some go on to positions in galleries, museums, and foundations, while others go on to professional school in law or medicine. In recent years many have decided to take several years in service, such as in the Teach for America program, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and others. They are a talented and diverse group.

Take a Closer Look

Major & Minor Requirements

Ready to learn more about the path ahead? We've got all the details for major and minor requirements.

Review Requirements

undergraduate honors guidelines

The departmental honors program is open to majors in the Department of Art History & Archaeology with a strong academic record and is particularly recommended for those planning to pursue graduate work.

Review the Guidelines for Honors Work

Research Opportunities

Exceptional undergraduates at Washington University have the opportunity to engage in and present their research at a variety of symposiums. From senior thesis and independent study work, our undergraduate majors have presented their original research projects at Washington University's Undergraduate Research Symposia, which is held every spring and fall, and at art history symposia across the country.  In addition to these opportunities, our undergraduates are also eligible for a variety of fellowships and internships, including the Ottoson Travel Fellowship which permits a student to travel abroad during the summer.  These internships establish our students with further skills and networks that will benefit them after graduation. 

For more information about undergraduate research opportunities, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Careers & Internships

Looking for an internship? Want to hear from our alumni? Wonder where students before you have gone on to work? We've got you covered!

Learn more about Internships & Careers

Study Abroad FAQ

There are many opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in the art world outside of the classroom. Study abroad programs allow students to experience in-depth the art of a particular culture, including Italian, French, Japanese, and Russian. Students interested in studying abroad should also read the university guidelines at the Overseas Programs website

Should I Study Abroad?

The Department of Art History and Archaeology strongly encourages majors to consider studying abroad. Students commonly go during their junior year, for one or two semesters, and may receive up to 30 hours of credit. Washington University has programs in Germany, France, England, Spain, Greece, China, Japan, Africa, Australia, and elsewhere. There are also many other non-affiliated programs available, and in most programs, language is not necessarily an impediment since courses are frequently offered in English. For some programs, the department does require that students complete at least one semester of language study prior to the term they go abroad. Art history students should not be shy about petitioning to attend programs that are not pre-approved by Overseas Programs for art history. Petitions to attend additional programs and to get full academic credit are often granted for sound academic reasons.

How many credits can I take abroad?

Students intending to study abroad should consult with their major advisor before planning their courses, as the granting of art history major credit for courses taken abroad is at the discretion of the department. According to College of Arts & Sciences rules, at least half of the credit hours for the major must be completed in residence. Furthermore, the final 30 units toward the degree must be earned at Washington University.

Can I Take a Capstone Course Abroad?

Majors are expected to take their two capstone seminars on campus, usually in the senior year. On occasion a seminar of exceptional rigor may be proposed as a substitute. However, the credit will only be granted once the course is complete, and the syllabus and research paper(s) have been reviewed and approved by the Study Abroad Advisor (and perhaps by relevant faculty). Students are therefore advised that they should not assume that any seminar course taken while on study abroad will count toward this requirement when planning their course program. 

Upon returning, the student should submit a dossier to the current Study Abroad Advisor of all course materials from classes for which art history credit is sought. This usually includes notes, syllabi, writing assignments, and exams. It is the student's responsibility to get these materials while abroad, and to return to campus with them. These are the secondary materials the Department's Study Abroad Advisor will use to determine the amount of credit earned abroad.

Do Courses Taken Abroad Count Towards My GPA?

Students need to remember that in courses taken abroad, credits transfer, but grades do not. The only exception to this rule are courses taught by Washington University faculty teaching abroad in the Florence program.

Can I Go Abroad And Complete An Honors Thesis?

Returning students who wish to write a senior honors thesis will need to take extra care in planning their major.

Available Programs

College Year in Athens (CYA)

College Year in Athens (CYA): Summer Courses

Middlebury School in France: Paris

Syracuse University in Florence

University College London, University of London (UCL) (Exchange) 

University of Edinburgh (Exchange)

Utrecht University, Netherlands (Exchange)

WU Archaeology and History of Central Asia Summer Program (Kazakhstan)

Still have questions?

Contact Study Abroad Advisor