Jun 25, 2024  
2020 - 2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020 - 2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art and Art History, Art History-Built Environment Studies, BA

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Art History, Critical Curatorial Studies, and Built Environment Studies requirements are designed to offer students program experiences that provide breadth, variety and a balance between lecture courses and seminars.

Required Credit Hours: 33

Students concentrating in Art History-Built Environment Studies must complete 33 credits. Of those 33 credit hours, at least 24 must be taken in residence at the College or with an Art History faculty teaching at the W&M in Washington Program, and/or in William & Mary faculty-led and faculty-assisted study abroad programs. No more than 6 of the remaining 9 semester credits may be derived from Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate. The 33 credit hours must include the following:

Major Computing Requirement

Students satisfy the Major Computing Requirement (MCR) during the completion of the Major Writing Requirement.

Major Writing Requirement

Students satisfy the Major Writing Requirement (MWR) for Art History by attaining a C or better in the ARTH 493 (Senior Research Colloquium or “Capstone” Seminar) required by the major.

Art History-Built Environment Studies Concentration

Foundational Courses (12 Credits):

Core Requirements (9 Credits):

The Curatorial Project: Students are encouraged to take ARTH 331 (The Curatorial Project) in the semester following their major declaration. In this course, students will engage with the history, theory and politics of curating. They will then apply these methods practically in curating an exhibit. The course will combine critical readings, classroom discussion, writing, exhibition design, and implementation.
Theories and Methods: Art History majors are encouraged to take ARTH 333 (Theories and Methods in Art History) in their junior year (or earlier) in order to gain desirable writing and research experience. The class will familiarize students with theories and methods of art history and with the idea of art history as a discipline, while also covering the arts and techniques of art-historical writing. The course will typically require a final paper demonstrating critical analysis, compositional skills, and scholarly apparatus.
Senior Research Colloquium or “Capstone”: Completion of ARTH 493 (Senior Research Colloquium or “Capstone” Seminar) is required for the Art History degree. Students enroll in this 3-credit writing-focused seminar during their senior year.  Students in ARTH 493 expand and refine a paper already written for an earlier art history course and deliver a related public presentation.  Students must earn at least a C in ARTH 493. The seminar will fulfill the major writing and computing requirements.

Upper Division Courses (9 Credits):

Art History-Built Environment Studies concentrators must complete ART 313 Architecture I and at least two courses at or above ARTH 330 or ART 314.

Elective (3 Credits):

Any advisor approved elective.


In addition to taking the major requirements, students are encouraged to gain practical experience through an internship. Internships for credit are approved on a case-by-case basis by the Department Chair and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. See Special Programs-Internships in this catalog. ARTH 389 (Museum Internships) is open only to Art or Art History majors who have completed at least 21 credits towards the major.

Additional Information

Foreign languages are recommended for students planning to major in Art History, especially if they plan to enter graduate programs in the discipline. Students are advised not to limit their junior and senior year classes to courses focused only on the history of a single region. Students must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in order to pursue independent study in Art History. Students are encouraged to undertake an Honors Thesis in Art History. Those interested in Honors must submit by the end of their junior year a thesis proposal and bibliography in some specific area of art historical literature, prepared in consultation with their advisor.

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