History of Art and Architecture Major
Standard major requirements
The standard major consists of a minimum of 24 credits in history of art and architecture offerings, including at least one course from three of the following five core-subject areas: non-Western, ancient, medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, and 18th-century/modern. One upper-division art history course numbered 1000 or above and history of art and architecture 1010: Approaches to Art History, are required for this major.
Because of the minimum number of courses required, the standard major is especially suitable for students who wish to combine a major in history of art and architecture with a major in another academic department or program. These students will also be encouraged to gain professional experience through internships in local art museums or organizations.
The intensive program consists of a minimum of 30 credits in history of art and architecture offerings, including the three courses distributed among the five core-subject areas as in the description of the standard major. Also required are three upper-division history of art and architecture courses numbered 1000 or above and HAA 1010: Approaches to Art History.
The intensive program is intended for students who wish to go to graduate school and/or wish to gain a deeper understanding of art history as an academic discipline. We hope that it will provide highly motivated students with an opportunity to read articles in foreign languages and do extensive library research. Students electing the intensive major will also be encouraged to pursue an internship in an art-related field.
Students electing the intensive program who have at least a 3.50 overall and departmental GPA can qualify for departmental honors by completing a senior thesis, written under the direction of a faculty member. Students pursuing this option will register for Senior Thesis (HAA 1950). This would also satisfy one of the School of Arts and Sciences' W-requirements. This option will allow students to develop a research paper suitable for application to graduate programs in art history and architecture, or to other professional schools. To register for senior thesis, please consult the departmental advisor and complete the senior thesis contact with the faculty member who will serve as your sponsor. Senior thesis contracts must be turned in to the departmental advisor during the registration period in the semester prior to the term in which the thesis work will be undertaken. Please see the senior thesis contract for departmental deadlines regarding senior thesis work.
Every major is required to take at least one undergraduate research seminar, HAA 1010: Approaches to Art History. Research seminars are limited to 15 students who have already had course work in art history at the 0100–0999 level. In some cases, a general course or courses may be designated as prerequisites or co-requisites for the course. These seminars will take a critical approach to the art historical material, and help the student develop critical reading and writing skills by introducing more advanced readings than in the lower-level courses. The student will gain experience with different forms of presentation (such as a research paper, grant proposal, and/or oral presentation). Undergraduate Research Seminars satisfy the W-requirement for the department.
Majors will receive W-credit by taking HAA 1010: Approaches to Art History. Majors can also earn credit for the W-requirement by enrolling in one of the W-sections attached to the introductory level courses: 0010, 0020, 0030, 0040, or another departmental W-course; or by successfully completing a senior thesis, written under the direction of a faculty member.
A GPA of at least 2.0 in all department courses is required for graduation with a major in history of art and architecture.
For Arts and Sciences, all students must develop a related area on the basis of their own career interests. For students who wish to attend graduate school in art history, for example, ancient or modern languages, cultural and intellectual history, sociology, and/or anthropology are advised depending upon the area of interest. For students with an interest in marketing, studio arts (especially design) or communications would be helpful. Students with an interest in information technology should take courses in studio arts and computer technology. For those interested in graduate programs in art conservation, chemistry (general and organic) is required. Certificate programs can also satisfy the related area requirement. Of particular interest to art history and architectural studies majors are certificates in historic preservation, film studies, German language, Jewish studies, medieval and Renaissance studies, women's studies, Asian studies, African studies, Latin American studies, West European studies, and Russian and East European studies. Students should be cautioned that business courses will only be accepted by Arts and Sciences if the student earns a double major.
There is no language requirement beyond that required by Arts and Sciences, but a reading competency in a foreign language is essential for those who wish to apply to graduate programs in art history and useful for those interested in pursuing professional degrees. Students should discuss their language competency and professional language needs with the art history advisor or with a faculty member in the field they wish to pursue.
Courses required for the major should not be taken S/N.
Not normally available.
Internships provide valuable experiences for students who are exploring career choices and who are applying for graduate school, professional programs, or jobs. Students are encouraged to explore the possibility of an internship with the art history advisor before the senior year so adjustments in the academic program can result from the internship experience. While internship opportunities vary each term, recent students have had internships at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory, The Society for Contemporary Craft, Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, The Brew House Association, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, Sweetwater Center for the Arts as well as various other local art galleries, local artists’ studios, arts and cultural organizations, community art projects, and libraries. Students have also completed internships while studying abroad and while living away from Pittsburgh during the summer term. Recently, history of art and architecture majors have completed internships at the Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC and the Guggenheim in New York. Internships are not a requirement for the art history major, but are strongly recommended.
To receive academic credit for an internship, students must enroll in HAA 1903 and complete an Internship Agreement Form with their site supervisor. This form is returned to the Departmental Advisor for approval. A minimum of 120 hours of work must be completed to receive academic credit. (Students work an average of 10 hours per week in an internship.) In addition, the student is required to complete a paper that evaluates his or her internship experience (Student Intern Evaluation Form). For more details on an History of Art and Architecture internship, please view the History of Art and Architecture Internship information sheet.
Undergraduate majors with 15 hours of completed course work in history of art and architecture are also invited to apply to specific faculty for research internships, which involve assisting that faculty member with their research, or to apply to work with faculty on projects involving materials for a course (in the past this has often involved computer-aided instruction).
Art history majors are encouraged to take advantage of the internship program to explore careers in art-related fields. Please see the undergraduate advisor, Gretchen Bender, for details. Students are also strongly encouraged to utilize the resources of both the Office of Experiential Learning and the Office of Career Services.
Recent history of art and architecture majors have completed stimulating and challenging programs of study in places such as Prague, Dublin, Stockholm, London, Paris, Sydney, Florence and Rome. In all likelihood, art history courses taken through an accredited study abroad program will be counted as credit toward the completion of major requirements. Students are strongly encouraged to investigate study abroad opportunities for educational as well as personal growth. Please contact the undergraduate advisor, Gretchen Bender, as well as the University of Pittsburgh's Study Abroad Office.
NOTE: A minimum of a 2.0 QPA in major courses is required.
- Three of the five below:
- HAA 1010
- One 1000-level course
- Three additional HAA electives
- Three of the five below:
- HAA 1010
- Three 1000-level courses
- Three additional HAA electives