The Catholic University of America

Undergraduate Programs - Advanced Information

Art History

From the earliest Paleolithic cave paintings rendered over 30,000 years ago to the exuberant canvases of the late Modern Age, the visual arts offer a unique record of human civilization, expressing and preserving some of humanity's most vibrant, profound and cherished experiences, feelings, and beliefs. The study of art history is an investigation into this most essential, sophisticated, and enduring form of human communication. Beginning with a two semester survey of Western art and architecture from prehistory to the present, and followed with twelve more specialized courses, the art history major is introduced to a broad range of ancient, medieval, renaissance, baroque, modern and contemporary art works. In this process, the student is also introduced to a diversity of methodologies for understanding art objects formally and analytically in their social, political, and economic context. Among the required fourteen courses that majors must take, one is in drawing or painting; one is the Junior Seminar in critical methodologies and research skills in preparation for the advanced Senior Seminar, which culminates in the completion of a senior thesis. Philosophy of Art is also requisite in partial fulfillment of the university’s philosophy distribution requirement. Comprehensive examinations are given in the last semester of senior year. Students with an honors level grade point average, who wish to receive Departmental Honors in Art History, may apply to write a Senior Honor's Thesis. Progress in completing this Senior Thesis will be guided through the student's enrollment in a Senior Honor's Tutorial. Awards will be given to thesis projects that successfully demonstrate a high degree of scholarly achievement and self-motivation.

Studio Art

Founded in the 1930's, the Studio Art Program with its emphasis on painting and sculpture continues to be an important component of the liberal arts curriculum at Catholic University. A total of fourteen courses combining studio practice, history and theory are required for the major. A "B" average must be attained among the six core courses in drawing, design, and art history for acceptance as a concentrator: 101, 102, 207, 208, 211, and 212. A minimum of three courses is taken in an area of concentration (painting, sculpture, or digital art / time-based media) leading to a senior creative project carried out under the direction of a faculty member of one's choice. Contemporary art history and one semester each of junior and senior coordinating seminar are also required. The remaining courses are elected from the areas of art history, ceramics, digital art (animation, digital photography, video production, web design), drawing, film photography, painting, printmaking, or sculpture.

The Double Major

A double concentration may be permitted; and participation in interdisciplinary programs is encouraged.

Subconcentration in Art and Art History

Two six-course options are available to non-art concentrators interested in obtaining a minor in studio art or art history.