Art and Architecture History

Student Researching at the Art Museum


At Miami, Art & Architecture History majors can:

  • Choose from an array of global courses that leave you wanting to jump on a plane and study abroad.
  • Work closely with internationally known professors at the cutting edge of their fields of research.
  • Intern in a gallery or museum and take the classroom into the art world.
  • Develop lasting friendships by participating in art history student organizations
  • Engage with your passion for art at the Miami University Art Museum, Hiestand Galleries, and the McGuffey Museum.
  • Hone your writing skills by publishing in Effusions Art Journal or presenting a paper at the annual Art History Symposium.
  • Expand your knowledge through a multitude of extra-curricular presentations and programs across campus.
  • Merge your interests by adding a co-major, double-major, or minor in complementary programs.

The Bachelor of Arts in Art and Architecture History focuses on the many different roles that art, architecture, and visual culture have played in human development. Emphasis is placed on how art reflects not only its specific history, but the aesthetic, social, philosophical, and religious values of the culture that produced it. Students develop research and writing skills to better understand and critically evaluate the manifestations of the visual arts throughout the world. Additionally, they gain experience through internships and international study opportunities. The program prepares students for careers in museums, galleries, and historical societies, as well as in communications, publishing, corporations, and education. It serves well as a preliminary degree for many fields, including law, business, library science, and arts management. The Art and Architecture History degree is an interdepartmental major that includes the departments of Art, Architecture and Interior Design, Classics, and the Miami University Art Museum.

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Program Requirements
(48 hours, plus 2 years foreign language)

Bachelor of Arts in Art and Architecture History


Level One: Introductory Courses, 12 hours

Six hours from these: 
MPF/ART 185 India and Southeast Asia
MPF/ART 187 History of Western Art: Prehistoric-Gothic
MPF/ART 188 History of Western Art: Renaissance-Modern
MPF/ART 189 History of Western Dress

Three hours from these:
ARC 107 Global Design
ARC 221 History of Environmental Design 1
ARC 222 History of Environmental Design 2

Sophomore seminar:
ART 285 Writing and Research in Art and Architectural History

Level Two: Themed Courses, 6 hours
Thematic, cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary approaches to the history of art and architecture. Courses at this level include a writing component.

ARC 221, 222 History of Environmental Design 1, 2
ART 233 Global Perspectives on Dress
ART 235 The Gods are Here: Spirituality and Text in African Art
ART 276 Introduction to the Art of the Black Diaspora
ART 278 Text and Image in East Asian Buddhist Art
ART 279 Buddhism and Culture: China and Japan
ART 283 Modern America
ART 286 China, Korea, Japan 
ART 389 History of Photography
CLS 210.A Classics through the Lens
CLS 232 Discoveries in Archaeology
CLS 244 Introduction to Egyptian Art and Archaeology
CLS 332 Classical Mythology and the Arts

*Note: ARC 221/222 can count as either Level One or Level Two courses, but not both.

Level Three: Area Courses, 15 hours 
Courses designed to explore issues of style and how it changes according to function, context and chronology. Courses at this level have an integrated lecture component that will include student research and writing significantly beyond what is expected in Level Two courses. At least one course must be taken in each of the following areas:*

Art of Asia, Africa, or the Americas
ART 309 The Arts of African Peoples
ART 311 Chinese Painting
ART 312 Japanese Painting and Prints

European Art
ARC 405E Renaissance Architecture
ARC 405G Gothic Architecture
ART 313 Early Christian, Byzantine, and Islamic Art
ART 314 The Renaissance in Italy
ART 315 High Renaissance and Mannerism
ART 316 Baroque Art in Europe
ART 317 The Arts of Colonial Latin America
ART 389 Art of the Weimar Republic
ART 485/585 Art of the Early 19th Century
ART 486/586 Art of the Late 19th Century
ART 487/587 Art of the Early 20th Century

Pre-Modern Art (of any geographic area or areas)
ARC 405E Renaissance Architecture
ARC 405G Gothic Architecture
ART 311 Chinese Painting
ART 312 Japanese Painting and Prints
ART 313 Early Christian, Byzantine, and Islamic Art
ART 314 The Renaissance in Italy
ART 315 High Renaissance and Mannerism
ART 316 Baroque Art in Europe
ART 317 The Arts of Colonial Latin America
ART 381 Greek and Roman Architecture
ART 382 Greek and Roman Sculpture
ART 383 Greek and Roman Painting
ART 485/585 Art of the Early 19th Century

Modern/Postmodern Art 
ARC 321 History of Interiors
ARC 422/522 History of Urbanization
ARC 426/526 Architecture and Society
ARC 427/527 The American City Since 1940
ARC 451/551 Modern Architecture
ARC 452/552 Recent Architecture Theory
ART 318 Modernism and Modernity
ART 319 Postmodern Art and Theory
ART 389 Art of the Weimar Republic
ART 455/555 Design History and Cultural Contexts
ART 486/586 Art of the Late 19th Century
ART 487/587 Art of the Early 20th Century
ART 489/589 Art of the Late 20th Century

*NOTE: A single course may not fill requirements in more than one area.

Level Four: Seminar, 3 hours
Faculty-mentored seminars in which students are responsible for extensive research on a specified aspect of the course which they will present to the instructor and their classmates. Topics vary.

ARC 405 Seminar

ART 480 Seminar

Field Study, 3 hours 
ART 391 Structured experience outside the classroom: internship or study abroad. 

Advanced Research Methods, 3 hours
ART 498 Capstone: Seminar in History and Methods in Art and Architectural History. Required during the fall semester of the senior year.

Studio Requirement, 6 hours
Recommended courses:
ART 111 Visual Fundamentals, 2-D
ART 121, 122 Drawing I, II
ART 171 Visual Fundamentals, 3-D

Foreign Language Requirement, 6 upper division hours
At least two years foreign language (completion of 202 or equivalent). Students planning to pursue graduate studies in the history of art and architecture should discuss additional language study with an adviser.

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Majors are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. All courses for the major must be taken for a standard grade.

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Miami Plan Requirements, 48 hours
Foundation courses within the major may be applied toward fulfillment of Miami Plan requirements. A Thematic Sequence must be chosen from departments outside the major. ART 498, the Capstone Seminar taken during the senior year, meets the Miami Plan Capstone Course requirement.

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Departmental Honors
To graduate with Departmental Honors, students must maintain a 3.5 grade point average in the major and complete an honors thesis. Thesis proposals are submitted during the junior year. Successful applicants earn six upper division hours* for research and writing (ART 477C), after which the thesis is submitted for approval to the Departmental Honors committee. 

*These credit hours are in addition to the upper division credits required for the major.

Guidelines for the Research and Writing of the Honors Thesis

  • Students should choose their topic and advisor based upon their area of special interest and qualifications. Applicants should adhere to the proposed schedule of completing research during the fall and completing the writing of the honors thesis during the spring of their senior year, unless their advisor agrees upon a different schedule. Students applying to graduate school may want to complete as much of the writing as possible during the fall so that they will have a writing sample to send in with their applications.
  • Applicants should conduct original research on a topic that will demonstrate their knowledge of art history and reflect their personal interests.
  • The honors thesis should investigate a subject in depth and result in an original conclusion. It will normally consist of about thirty pages and include illustrations.

The Miami University Bulletin series is the official source of information about the programs and courses of study offered by Miami University.