The art history major exposes students to a history of visual expression that includes different time periods, cultures, and media with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art history, criticism, and theory. It teaches critical thinking through discourse with works of art and artists made available through the Art Department, the O’Connor Art Gallery and by visits to Chicago art museums and galleries.

The major offers students a broadly based knowledge of art history while preparing them for experiences that may include graduate school, teaching, art writing, and gallery or museum work. The program seeks to instill a deepened cultural awareness, an appreciation of art’s relationship to social, political, religious, and ideological contexts, and a significant understanding of the discursive nature of the field of art history.