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Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2016


College of Arts and Humanities
1211-B Art/Sociology Building, 301-405-1479
Chair: M. Gill
Professors: A. Colantuono, M. Gill, J. Hargrove, J. Kuo, S. Mansbach, A. Wheelock
Associate Professors: R. Ater, J. Shannon, Y. Suzuki, A. Volk
Assistant Professors: M. Gensheimer, A. McEwen
Lecturers: B. Bland, A. Georgievska-Shine, L. Martinez, G. Metcalf
Affiliate Professors: F. Kelly, R. Spear
Professors Emeriti: D. Denny (Prof Emeritus), W. Pressly (Prof Emeritus), M. Spiro (Assoc Prof Emerita), M. Venit (Prof Emeritus), J. Withers (Assoc Prof Emerita)

The Major

The faculty and students of the Department of Art History and Archaeology form a dynamic nucleus within a major research university. The program, leading to the B.A. degree in Art History, provides a diverse selection of courses in the art and archaeology of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The goal of the department is to develop the student's critical understanding of art history and visual culture.

The department has strong coverage in Western art from the classical period up to the present. In addition, by taking advantage of the unusual diversity of faculty interests, students can study in areas not traditionally offered in departments of art history and archaeology, such as the art of Africa, art of the African diaspora, art of Latin America, and Chinese and Japanese art. Studies in archaeology may be pursued in cooperation with other University departments.

Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronym: ARTH.

Program Objectives

The Department of Art History and Archaeology's B.A. program equips its majors with critical knowledge of art history and visual culture. The program promotes visual literacy in the history of art from around the world and from prehistoric times to the present. It cultivates strong research, written, and critical thinking skills; and develops students' abilities to synthesize cultural, historical, political, and social information as it bears upon the visual arts.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to fully engage with the curriculum and the opportunities presented for learning and research. Having completed the B.A. in Art History, students should have acquired the following abilities:

1. An ability to demonstrate knowledge of a large set of artistic monuments, objects, and performances in their cultural, historical, political, and/or social contexts.

2. An ability to communicate effectively about art in writing, applying complex forms of analysis in essay-length papers using clear and concise prose.
3. An ability to employ the appropriate technologies for conducting research in the history of art, including print sources and/or electronic information.
4. An ability to recognize and understand fundamental art historical methods including but not limited to connoisseurship, stylistic chronology, visual and technical analysis, historical contextualization, and theoretical evaluation.

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

The location of the university between Washington and Baltimore gives students the opportunity to use some of the finest museum and archival collections in the world for their course work and independent research. The department encourages students to hold internships at a number of these institutions. Curator/professors, exhibitions in galleries at the University of Maryland, interactive technologies, and the extensive use of study collections complement traditional classroom learning.

The department is in the forefront of exploring digital imaging technologies for art historical and archaeological teaching, research, and publication. The Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture, located in the department on the fourth floor of the Art/Sociology Building, is central in creating a nurturing environment for academic research and creative learning. This new space permits ample workspace for meetings, workshops, forums, and the execution of large-scale technical projects.

Requirements for the Major

Requirements for the major in Art History are as follows:

 One from: 3
ARTT100Two Dimensional Art Fundamentals  
ARTT110Elements of Drawing I  
 ARTH required courses:  
ARTH2xxthree ARTH courses at the 200 level 9

seven ARTH courses at the 300-400 level

Of those seven courses, at least one must be ARTH488 (Colloquium in Art History). Enrollment for ARTH488 is limited to (a) majors with at least 75 total credits and at least 9 credits in ARTH at the 300 level, or (b)those given permission by the faculty/department.

 Supporting Area: 12
  A supporting area of four courses outside the department of Art History and Archaeology at the 300-400 level. Course should cohere around a broad area of study, and must be related to the student's studies in the department. All supporting courses must be approved by an ARTH advisor.  

No credit toward the major can be received for ARTH 100 or 355.
No course with a grade lower than "C-" may be used to satisfy major or supporting area requirements.

An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.

Other Requirements for the Major

In the Department of Art History and Archaeology, 300-level and 400-level courses are differentiated. 300-level courses focus on period or topical surveys and 400-level courses highlight content- or theme-based material. Majors should complete the 200-level surveys before they enroll in 300- or 400-level courses. Students are strongly encouraged to take supporting area courses that complement the art history major. No course with a grade lower than C- may be used to satisfy major or supporting area requirements.

Requirements for the Minor

The minor in Art History introduces students to a range of art-historical periods, problems, and methodologies and is intended at once to broaden and deepen the student's knowledge of arts and humanities. A total of 18 credits is required.

1. Nine (9) credits of 200-level surveys in the history of art are required. Choose any three (3) broad surveys from among the following 3-credit courses:

  • ARTH200:  Art and Society in Ancient and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean
  • ARTH201:  Art and Society in the West from the Renaissance to the Present
  • ARTH250:  Art and Society in the Ancient American World
  • ARTH255:  Art and Society in the Modern American World
  • ARTH275:  Art and Society in Africa
  • ARTH290:  Art and Society in Asia

2. In addition, nine (9) credits of upper-level art history courses are required. Choose any three (3) upper-division (300- or 400-level) 3-credit courses in Art History (ARTH prefix).

A total of six (6) credits may be transferred into the minor from other institutions or programs. These transferred credits include those from study-abroad programs. Study-abroad credit requires the prior approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

All courses presented for the minor must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better. Beginning with students matriculating in Fall 2012, to be awarded a baccalaureate degree, students must have a minimum C (2.00) cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy minor requirements.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor,
go to www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors


Departmental advising is mandatory for all majors.


Students may receive academic credit for internships via ARTH 386. This course may count as one of the seven 300/400-level ARTH courses required for completion of the ARTH major. Prerequisites: permission of department and 60 credit hours completed. All students are required to complete an ARTH Internship Contract, available from the undergraduate advisor. Qualified majors should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for internship opportunities.

Honors Program

If you have completed at least 12 credits in Art History and Archaeology courses and if you have an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher (in all course work, not just ARTH courses) you are qualified to work toward departmental honors at graduation. Such honors will be noted on your official transcript. Consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies for details. Among your seven 300/400-level ARTH courses required for the major, you must take at least one colloquium (ARTH 488) and you also must take Methods of Art History (ARTH 496). In addition to the regular requirements for the major, you must research and write an Honors Thesis (ARTH 499), normally in the year when you will graduate. Before registering for this course you must identify and gain the support of a faculty supervisor. The faculty supervisor must be a regular member of the ARTH department faculty. Adjunct faculty members do not supervise honors theses.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The Department of Art History and Archaeology has an active Undergraduate Art History Association (AHA). Interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for more information or go to  www.arthistory.umd.edu/art-history-association-aha

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Awards and Recognition

The Department of Art History and Archaeology offers four undergraduate awards each year: the Judith K. Reed Scholarship to an ARTH major of junior standing; the Judith K. Reed Commencement Award, and the George Levitine and Frank DiFederico Book Awards to graduating ARTH seniors.

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