Art History and Criticism (BA)


Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts/Department of Art, Design, and Art History

Program Description

Art history is an empirical and humanistic discipline that investigates art as a document in the broad history of human experience. The study of art history entails the evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of aesthetic objects by identifying materials and techniques, the time and place of their creation, the meaning or function of the work of art, and the biography of the artist.

This program is offered through the Department of Art, Design, and Visual Culture in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts. Please see the Colleges, Schools, and Departments section of this catalog for further information.

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Special Requirements

Entering students seeking a BA in art history and criticism must submit a writing sample. Writing samples should be submitted with the student’s application for admission.

The Department of Art, Design, and Art History is committed to the concept of combining theory with experience; consequently, art history students are required to take courses in studio art. Because of the eclectic nature of the field, additional credit hours should be taken in related areas, including courses in history, literature, and philosophy. Intermediate proficiency in a foreign language is required. Students can take advantage of several internships available in local museums and galleries, and they can study at one of the Webster University international campuses

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Degree Requirements

A minimum of 128 credit hours consisting of the following:

45 required credit hours

30 Global Citizenship Program credit hours or general education as applicable

53 elective credit hours


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Required Courses

  • ART 1010 Creative Strategies (3 hours)
  • ART 1110 Introduction to Drawing (3 hours)
  • DESN 1210 Design Concepts (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2200 Current Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2210 Introduction to the History of Western Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2320 Introduction to Asian Art (3 hours)
    -OR- ARHS 2400 Indigenous Arts of the World (3 hours)
    (or approved substitution in non-Western art)
  • ARHS 4920 Senior Thesis (3 hours)

A minimum of 24 credit hours must be chosen from the following:

  • ARHS 3010 Greek and Roman Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3110 Early Renaissance Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3120 High and Late Renaissance Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3130 Northern Renaissance Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3150 Baroque Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3210 Nineteenth-Century Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3250 Modern Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3270 Contemporary Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3500 History of Architecture (3 hours)                                            
  • ARHS 4600 Topics in Art History (3 hours)                                              
    (may be repeated for credit if topic varies)
  • ARHS 4730 Art Theory and Criticism (3 hours)                                        
    (may be repeated for credit if topic varies)
  • PHIL 3120 Philosophy and Art (3 hours)                                                

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