2020-2021 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Mar 02, 2021  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Art History, BA

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Amanda Eubanks-Winkler, Chair
Suite 308 Bowne Hall
Matilde Mateo, Undergraduate Director 
Suite 308 Bowne Hall


Molly Bourne (Florence), Sally Cornelison, Wayne Franits, Richard Ingersoll, Samuel Johnson, Matilde Mateo, Alick McLean, Jonathan Nelson (Florence), Sean Nelson (Florence), Glenn Peers, Romita Ray, Sascha Scott

The Department of Art and Music Histories offers courses in most major periods of the history of arts and architecture from ancient to postmodern times. The research and teaching specialties of the art history faculty include Greek art, medieval art and architecture, Italian Renaissance art, 17th-century Dutch painting, 19th- and 20th-century European art, American and Native American art, South Asian art and architecture, Medievalism, and History of Photography.

Studies in the history of architecture are offered in association with the faculty of the School of Architecture (see program description under “History of Architecture ” in this section of the catalog). Cooperative programs with the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and other divisions of the University allow students to take courses in studio art, and public communications.

Students who major in one of the department’s disciplines are strongly encouraged to take a foreign language and to study abroad.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Identify and analyze key works of art from both western and non-western societies from different eras

2. Recognize and explain the relationship of artists and their art to larger historical events and intellectual trends

3. Analyze and apply central issues and scholarly methodologies in our fields

4. Express ideas clearly through oral presentations

5. Formulate a thesis topic, synthesize and appraise scholarly information that pertains to that topic, and express ideas clearly through writing

6. Present themselves professionally

Major Requirements

The major in art history requires 30 credits in art history courses: 6 credits must be satisfied by lower division courses, and the remaining 24 credits completed at the 300 level or above. Below is an explanation of the other requirements for the major with a list of the courses that fulfill them. However, the list of courses provided here is incomplete and does not include special topics courses, which can be accessed through faculty advisors and the department website. Students are expected to consult with their art history faculty advisors as they choose their courses in order to make sure that they are fulfilling their requirements. Students should also bear in mind that some of the courses are offered at SU Abroad centers.

Lower-Division Requirement (6 credits)

Students are required to take 6 credits of lower-division coursework. These courses must be taken on the Syracuse campus (or be approved by petition). The following courses are among those that can count toward the lower-division requirement:  

Senior Seminar Requirement (3 credits)

During the fall semester of their senior year, art history majors are required to successfully complete a senior seminar (3 credits). This seminar explores the practical aspects of the discipline, paying particular attention to potential careers and professional research writing.

500-level Course Requirement (at least 3 credits)

Art history majors are required to take at least one course at the 500 level or above. 500-level courses are customarily open to advanced undergraduate majors as well as to graduate students in the MA program in Art History. Such courses offer more detailed study of particular fields within art history than those numbered at the 300 and 400 levels.

Chronological Distribution Requirement (6 credits)

Art history majors must fulfill a chronological distribution requirement to ensure an adequate breadth of knowledge across time. Students are required to take two courses at any level in each of the following periods: Ancient/Medieval (pre-1450); Early Modern (1450-1750); and Modern/Contemporary (post 1750). These courses are among those that can also satisfy the lower-division and 500-level course requirements. Each course can count toward only one of the three chronological periods. 

Cultural Distribution Requirement (6 credits)

Art history majors must fulfill a cultural distribution requirement in order to ensure an understanding of art history across geographical areas, and across or between cultures. Students are required to take two courses in global perspectives and/or intercultural perspectives. These courses can also satisfy a chronological distribution requirement.

In Addition

Students may petition to include 3 credits of studio art work at any level in the required 30 credits. Students may also petition to have up to 3 credits of appropriate courses in art history (non-HOA courses) count toward the required 30 credits.

Distinction in Art History

Art history majors who have earned a GPA of at least 3.4 by the end of their junior year and a cumulative departmental GPA of at least 3.7, are eligible for distinction. An announcement about the distinction in art history will be made during the first week of Senior Seminar (HOA 498), so that all students are aware of it. Students can either approach a faculty member if they qualify for distinction, or individual faculty members can invite students to earn a degree with distinction. Candidates for distinction must take the Senior Seminar. In addition, they must submit either a Capstone Project (Honor’s Thesis), or a 15-20 page-long art history research paper from an upper division HOA class (not including bibliography and end/footnotes) that has earned at least an A-. Alternatively, students can develop a shorter writing sample into a longer research paper worthy of being submitted for distinction, through a 1-credit Independent Studies supervised by a faculty member in the department (the Independent Studies project must earn at least an A- to be considered for distinction).

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