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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017


College of Arts and Humanities
1211-B Parren J. Mitchell 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 goal of the Department is to develop the student's critical understanding of visual culture in both art historical and archaeological contexts. The program provides a diverse selection of courses in the art and archaeology of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

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 coursework and independent research. Curator/professors, exhibitions in the Art Gallery and Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland, and the extensive use of study collections bring regional and distant museums into the classroom.

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, using clear and concise prose to advance logical arguments supported by adequate and appropriately cited research materials.

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 the methods and theories used to ask and address significant questions about works of art, and understand the values informing them.

5. An ability to demonstrate skills in visual and critical analysis and sensitivity to diversity in comparing works of art across time, geography, and/or culture.

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.

Admission to the Major

Students must meet either with the departmental Advisor or Director of Undergraduate Studies for admission to the Major. The advisor and student will complete the departmental portion of the College of Arts and Humanities and Art History Academic Plan Checklist.  The student must take the form to the College and meet with the ARHU advisor. The ARHU advisor will make the official change in the university records.

Requirements for the Major

Requirements for the major in Art History are as follows:




One from:



Two Dimensional Art Fundamentals



Elements of Drawing I


ARTH required courses:



three ARTH courses at the 200 level



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:



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. Once registration begins, students must come in for departmental advising before the department can remove their registration block. Students should check for registration blocks and advising hours.

For ARTH advising hours, go to: http://arthistory.umd.edu/undergraduate-advising


Students may receive academic credit for museum/gallery internships via ARTH386. 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.

For details outlining the process for securing such credit and for museum internship information, go to: http://arthistory.umd.edu/internships

Students must complete all of the required steps outlined on the website and register for ARTH 386 before the end of the schedule adjustment period for that semester. The department does not give credit for museum and gallery internships that have already been completed.

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 (ARTH488) and you also must take Methods of Art History (ARTH496). In addition to the regular requirements for the major, you must research and write an Honors Thesis (ARTH499), 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 and www.facebook.com/UmdAHA

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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