Art History

About Art History

Art historians enhance our understanding of art and its place within society through research, teaching and other professional activities. Studying the art and architecture of diverse world cultures and periods, art historians examine the historical, social, and cultural significance art holds for its creators and users.

Faculty members in the Department of Art History have a wide range of specializations, including the following

  • The visual and material culture of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East
  • The visual and material culture of South Asia
  • Art of the Americas from the 16th Century to today.
  • European art from the 18th Century to today
  • Modern and contemporary Arab art and art of the Middle East
  • Architecture and design history in the U.S. and Europe from 1800 to today
  • Historiography, methodology, and theory of art, design, and visual culture since 1900

Our commitment to diverse areas of inquiry is reflected in the curriculum, which enables students to experience a range of courses addressing global art history, to train art historians to have a broad understanding of the historical roots of the visual arts, the contemporary issues addressed by artists and the role of art in a world context. The program seeks to enhance students’ understanding of contemporary and past visual art forms through innovative uses of technology, research and teaching in the arts, providing continuing opportunities for intellectual development and career growth for students and faculty.

Students who complete a degree in art history through the College of Visual Arts and Design will develop a range of competencies that reflect the discipline's standards and the faculty's pedagogical principles. Graduates of the program understand past and contemporary visual art forms and can do the following.

  • Identify key monuments and objects within a breadth of discrete periods and regions of artistic production
  • Know the history and literature of methodologies employed in art history
  • Be conversant in the key discourses, themes and issues associated with the global study of art history
  • Employ the specialized vocabulary of the discipline and design
  • Implement a successful research program/project analyzing works of art using one or more methodologies

The competencies reflect the diverse teaching and research areas of the faculty and their commitment to preparing undergraduates for future graduate study in art history.

The Art History undergraduate major thus prepares students for graduate study in the discipline and an array of jobs in the art world and beyond. The Master of Arts in Art History degree is a gateway to careers in museums and galleries or future graduate studies in preparation for an academic career.

B.A. in Art History

At the undergraduate level, we offer the Bachelor of Arts, B.A., in Art History for students who emphasize art history studies as part of a humanities degree. The program offers courses in methodologies, art history across the globe, museology, theory, criticism and cultural history of art.

The Art History program enhances your understanding of past and contemporary visual art forms. We teach you about global artistic production, relevant technologies, critical methods, learning theories and innovative approaches.

Program Administration

Administered by the CVAD Department of Art History, the program provides lower-division surveys of global art and advanced-level courses. Examples of advanced-level courses include methodologies in the history of art and visual culture, the art of ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East, 18th- and 19th-century art, modernism and postmodernism, theories of contemporary art, history of interiors and furniture, history of design, history of architecture, history of photography, history of prints, history of communication design, history of crafts, and dress and fashion in the premodern through contemporary periods.

The faculty also offer topics courses in select geographies and chronologies. Examples of some of our advanced-level topics courses include the following topics.

  • Ancient Mediterranean Art: Art and Everyday Life, The Art of Early Italy, and The Art of Myth
  • American Art: examinations of art, architecture and Design; Art & Healing and African-American Art
  • Asian Art: examinations of the art of India (ancient through modern), Buddhist Art of Asia, Cave Temples of India, and Exhibiting Indian Art in Texas
  • Eighteenth-Century Art: examinations of European material culture often addressing gender and identity constructions
  • History of Architecture and Design: Skyscraper Stories
  • Islamic and/or Middle Eastern Art: Art, Food, and Politics, Orientalism and Representation, Miniatures in Contemporary Art, and Themes in Middle Eastern Art
  • Latin American Art: Mexico in the 16th century, History of Latin American Art: 1900 to the present, Diego and Frida, Colonial Mexico, and surveys of art and architecture of viceregal Latin America
  • 20th– and 21st-century art: Disability and Art, Critical Histories of Crafts and Decorative Arts, and Contemporary art and its Social Contexts

Throughout our course offerings, our expert faculty address aspects of colonialism, post-colonialism, geography, ritual and spatial analysis, race, gender and sexuality. The faculty have distinguished themselves through quality teaching, research and numerous publications and presentations.

For more information, contact the Department of Art History,

How to Become an Undergraduate Art History Major

The undergraduate program in Art History welcomes students seeking to become art history majors both as a stand-alone degree or as a double major. To become an art history major, please take the following steps.

  • First, apply to UNT.
    • Indicate your program of study or area of interest on your application for admission to UNT.
    • Be sure to request and submit transcripts, if you have any, as part of your application process.
  • Schedule a follow-up advising appointment through UNT Appointments during your first semester to discuss your degree plan.
  • Consider discussing your long-term goals and plans with a member of the Art History faculty and/or the Chair of the Department of Art History. Also, reach out to campus resources, such as the UNT Career Center, to ask about internships and graduate studies or the Study Abroad Office for information about study-travel opportunities; continue to explore other ways you can enhance your education.

B.A. in Art History Course of Study

The B.A. in Art History consists of 120 semester credit hours, during which you will hone your analytical skills, master a broad range of art-historical content, craft original research, complete a study in a minor field and develop proficiency in a foreign language. 

Please note that all courses completed towards your degree requirements must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Note: Throughout your program of study, we recommend that you meet regularly with your academic advisor. And remember, the Departmental Faculty are always happy to discuss your degree and career trajectory.

Art History B.A. with the Grad Track Option Leading to Art History M.A. 

The Art History program offers a graduate track pathway that allows selected undergraduate art history majors to begin the M.A. program in the last year of undergraduate study. Grad track students complete up to six graduate hours before completing the B.A. degree. This program is a great way to jumpstart a career in the gallery or museum world or move you on to a Ph.D. program.

Entry Requirements

Undergraduate art history majors must have successfully completed at least 75 credit hours of undergraduate coursework or the equivalent with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 before applying for admission to the graduate track. Admission requires completing ARTH 4800 with a grade of A, 15 hours of advanced art history at UNT with a GPA in these courses of 3.5 or better and completing the undergraduate foreign language requirement.

Other admission requirements — sent directly to — include the following.

  • An official transcript
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation from Art History faculty

For more information, visit the current UNT Catalog page for Art History B.A. with the grad track option leading to Art History M.A. or email the Department of Art History,

B.A. Art History Marketable Skills

  1. Oral and written communication
  2. Research source identification
  3. Research material analysis
  4. Contextual understanding of artworks
  5. Visual literacy

Contact Information 

Future undergraduate students: Apply to UNT; you will meet with an academic advisor during orientation. You also may contact CVAD Recruiter Kevin, for more information.

Currently enrolled undergraduate students: Contact the CVAD Undergraduate Advising Office, CVAD Advising webpage.

Department of Art History
Art Building, Room 230