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Current and Prospective Students

Join the Art History Undergraduate Association (“AHUA”) and make the most of your time at UCI. All majors are included!

Have fun, be creative, make friends, laugh, expand your horizons, create life-long connections with fellow students, faculty, alums and community and take advantage of the opportunities provided to aid you in post-graduate career planning and success. Join AHUA on Instagram

Join us for off-campus excursions to museums, galleries, and art walks. Attend social events at members’ homes and local eateries. Develop skills including teamwork, leadership, collaboration, communications, creative and analytical thinking, planning, curating and producing art exhibitions, event planning and execution, fundraising, problem-solving, negotiating, persuading and more. Join AHUA on Facebook

2023-24 Board Leaders:
President: Taylor Robertson
VP: Gloria Lee
Events Director: Rachael Lee
Secretary: Michelle Weon
Historian: Myra McCants
Treasurer: Adora Chen
Public Relations​ Director: Maya Villalobos

Email us: arthistoryclub@uci.edu 

There are four groups of requirements that must be met to earn a baccalaureate degree from UCI, including requirements for the Art History Major or the Art History Minor.

The Department of Art History has established a formal program that requires students to meet annually in the fall with an one of our Art History faculty advisors to help ensure students understand the requirements for the major and the many resources available to them. Majors are encouraged to meet with an advisor periodically throughout the year as questions arise or guidance and/or support is needed.

Minors and prospective majors are encouraged to meet with one of our Art History faculty advisors and to learn more about the many resources available to students in the Department of Art History.

School, University and General Education Requirements:
School of Humanities Requirements
UC and UCI Requirements
General Education Requirements

Visit the School of Humanities Counseling Office for additional information.

Forms you might need during your time at UCI include forms for taking classes outside of UCI for UCI credit, authorizing enrollment in a class for which you satisfied a prerequisite outside of the UCI-specified class, independent studies, study abroad and more.
Absolutely! Study abroad enhances your academic experience, expands your horizons, and is a great adventure. Visit the UCI Study Abroad Center to learn about the many options available to you.

Looking at a Buddhist sculpture in an American museum is no substitute for visiting the site of a Buddhist monastery and experiencing the relationship between the wooden buildings, carved images of deities, wall paintings, and surrounding landscape. Equally important is comprehension of languages used in the social context where the art was created.

Take some time to  familiarize yourself with the School of Humanities's Study Abroad resources to assist you with your planning.

Plan your trip now and learn about getting credit for your experience.

Also note that your financial aid travels with you. Don't let fear about lack of funds deter you; do your research and find out about resources available to you, including a Friends of Art History travel/research grant.
Although art history does not require that you choose an interest of specialization If you have a special interest -- for example, architectural history, visual images of women, or Medieval art -- then be alert for courses that allow you to give yourself greater exposure to your area of interest. Here are some ways to tailor your art history education to your own needs and interests:
-- Electives: To graduate as an art history major, you will need to complete courses in a variety of specific areas of art history (see department requirements). Nevertheless, some of your required upper division art history courses are electives that you may choose freely among offered courses.
-- Seminars: Art history seminars are offered each year in a variety of subjects and you are free to select any of these for your seminar requirements.
-- Independent study: To study a specific topic that is not covered in any course or pursue a topic introduced in class in greater depth, you can arrange an independent study project with a faculty member. Look carefully at the areas of expertise of individual professors (see Art History Faculty), and make an appointment to see the one who seems to share your interest to discuss possibilities for an independent study project.
-- Other possibilities: Consider combining your art history major with a minor or double major with another department that allows you to add depth to your understanding of art. For example, if you want to study European art history, you might look at offerings in the History, Comparative Literature, European Studies or Classics.
You must fill out  a Humanities Undergraduate Student Petition to obtain UCI credit for a course outside your major, abroad, or off-campus:

1. Obtain the required paperwork from the Humanities Counseling Office located in HIB 143 off of Ring Road or from the Art History Department office in Humanities Gateway 2000.
2. Follow the instructions on the back. You will need to complete the form and attach a course syllabus.
3. Turn in the completed petition to the Art History Department office.
4. We will provide preliminary recommendation and then turn in the paperwork to the Dean's Office.
5. The Humanities Counseling Office will contact you about the approval of the proposal.

-- Independent Study Proposal
1. After finding a suitable faculty adviser, obtain the required paperwork from the Humanities Counseling Office located in HIB 143 off of Ring Road or from the Art History Department office in Humanities Gateway 2000.
2. Follow the instructions on the back.
3. Have your faculty adviser sign the paper work for you.
4. Bring the completed paperwork to the Art History Department Office. We will issue you a course code and course authorization code for the course.
5. Enroll in the course online via WebReg, using the course code and course authorization code provided.
---- All steps must be completed by the end of Week 3 for the course to be approved.

-- Add/Drop Course After Second Week
Please visit the Humanities Counseling Office located in HIB 143 off of Ring Road
Seminars are typically small (four to fifteen students), conversational, intensive courses for advanced undergraduates. Seminars do not usually involve exams, but you will do a lot of reading and are likely to gain experience participating in independent research on a specific topic and presenting your findings and analysis to the class. Some examples of recent seminars include: Rembrandt, Women in Chinese Art, Pop Art, The Parthenon, Postcolonial Art & Film, Marcel Duchamp, and Art & Nationalism.
Have you ever looked at a photograph, a painting, a building, a sculpture, or even a billboard advertisement and found it so beautiful or perhaps disturbing that you could not take your eyes off it? While art history is for people who find images compelling and historically important, our program also provides skills that go far beyond the appreciation of art. ‘Literacy’ is the ability to read texts, but to function effectively in modern society you also need to be visually literate, that is, you need skills enabling you to understand how images displayed in your environment effect your actions, desires, and beliefs. Thus, in art history courses you will focus on improving your writing ability and gain valuable experience as a critical thinker while investigating many types of images from many cultures, past and present.

Majoring in art history will give you a deeper understanding of all kinds of artifacts, ranging from the ancient to the recent, artifacts from your own culture or from cultures you may know little about. Common questions asked by art historians concern:

Technique: How did artisans make an ancient bronze ritual vessel unearthed in China?

Patronage: Why did the Roman Catholic church spend so much money on beautiful buildings?

Identity: How did modern Japanese painters contend with the Euro-centrism of modern art?

Gender: Why were most nineteenth-century European painters men and why did they paint nude women so frequently?

Reception: What values did thinkers in Renaissance Italy associate with the art of Classical antiquity that they so admired?

Theory: What ideas have been advanced about what art is and how it functions as a visual ‘language’ and as a form of social practice?

With its strong emphasis on developing higher skills in visual analysis, writing, speaking and critical thinking, Art History provides an excellent preparation for many careers, including medicine and law. Following their graduation, students with a B.A. in Art History have found employment in art galleries, auction houses, and museums, and they have entered graduate programs with a view to careers in university teaching, curatorial work, and art conservation. Other professions that often require expertise in art history include art investment, art law, art librarian, arts organization consultant, corporate curator, estate appraiser, and curator of visual resources. Here is an excellent website that introduces many more Career Alternatives for Art History.
Art History’s focus on the visual arts, past and present sets it apart from all other majors. As an Art History major, the bronze statue in a town square, the ancient artifact in a museum, and the design of a shopping center will take on much more meaning to you. Moreover, our program offers you an introduction to an exceptionally broad geographical, cultural, and historical range of topics. Not many majors are designed to give you this cultural diversity. As an art history major at UCI, you are likely to learn, for example, how to recognize the aesthetic qualities admired in the porcelain and stoneware of dynastic China as well as artistic expressions of the experiences of African American artists in the twentieth-century.
If you have taken Art History courses at another university or college, you may be able to use these courses to fulfill requirements for the Art History major at UCI. The first step is to discuss your previous courses with the Academic Counselor in the Humanities Undergraduate Counseling Office (HIB 143). For further information about transferring, check the Transfer Services Counseling Program.

To find out about the art history major and minor programs, please contact one of the Art History Faculty Advisers located in the Art History Department in Humanities Gateway 3000 (Campus map). We will be happy to discuss the courses you may take and help you plan a curriculum appropriate to your personal interests and objectives. For a description of the requirements for the major and minor, consult the art history section of the UCI Catalogue. The Department of Art History is part of UCI’s School of Humanities and you will find academic counselors available in the Humanities Undergraduate Office on the first floor of the Humanities Instructional Building (HIB 143) who can help get you on the right track to fulfill lower-division requirements.

For general information about the art history department and its courses as well as other campus resources, contact the Office of the Department of Art History. To find out about how to enroll at UCI, see the Office of Admissions. Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to find out about financial assistance. For information about living on campus, see Undergraduate Housing. Consider taking a Campus Tour or participating in the Stay Over Program during your high school years.

Would you rather learn about the art of many societies from many historical periods, or create your own works of art? Art Historians write about and analyze the art of the past and present, but they do not usually create works themselves. The Department of Art History is part of UCI’s School of Humanities which emphasizes writing skills and critical thinking to train effective communicators for our global society. The Department of Studio Art is part of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.