The discipline of art history seeks to understand human cultures of the past and the present by studying their artistic productions. In every human society known, art and architecture have served vital functions in domains such as religion, politics, medicine and entertainment. To study art history is to understand the fundamental values of different cultures and societies in their specific historical contexts.
The Student Experience
Our mission is to help you become a guardian and advocate for culture and the arts within Oregon, the United States, and the world—which is why our art history program is thoroughly global in scope. Courses examine cultural production from Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Mediterranean. You will learn at least one ancient or modern language associated with your main area of interest.
Art history helps students become sophisticated and compassionate global citizens. In the face of an increasingly automatized work force, art history provides rigorous training in highly desirable skills that can't be easily replaced by machines—visual literacy, critical thinking, effective communication, and cultural and historical awareness. These skills are crucial for students seeking to enter art-based professions in museums, galleries, archives, and cultural institutes. History of Art and Architecture graduates also make competitive candidates in business, education, law, private and nonprofit organizations, professional writing, and publishing.
The Department of the History of Art and Architecture and the College of design offer various opportunities for enrolled students to apply for financial assistance.
Enrich Your Academic Experience
Studying abroad and joining a student organization are just some of the ways you can enrich your classroom experience.
Falling for Art History
Winner of the 2019 Gloria Tovar Lee Scholarship for Most Promising Student in Art History, Katelyn Jones (BA, class of 2020) had never stepped into a museum until she came to the UO. Now, the incoming senior is using the scholarship for an art history study abroad program in London, home to some of world’s best museums, and to continue her research into Romanticism at the College of Design.
Are you interested in becoming a major in—or perhaps changing your major to—Art History? We look forward to talking with you! Please contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies for further information.