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Art History

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

Students pursuing the Art History sequence benefit from a varied menu of course offerings, which reflects the broad range of expertise and interests of the Art History faculty.

The study of Art History examines specific works of sculpture, painting, architecture, and other art forms, both as expressions of human creativity and as uniquely informative historical documents. Through such investigations students gain a greater aesthetic appreciation of art and a deeper understanding of its purposes in different times and places.

Why Study Art History?

After graduation, School of Art students take on a variety of careers as artists, curators, designers, educators, critics, scholars, conservators and writers. Our alumni continue to be a part of the School of Art after they leave campus, and we continue to harness professional relationships and networking connections between them and our current students.

Related Majors

Related Skills

Undergraduates who study art history develop many skills including:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to analyze texts and visual art
  • Good decision making skills
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Strong work ethic and professional skills
  • Adaptive imaginative and creative skills

Being Successful in the Field

An undergraduate degree in Art History is good preparation not only for graduate study in art history and visual culture but also the fields of law, history, anthropology, archaeology, arts administration, museum studies, and library science.

Art History graduates have successful careers working in libraries (including special collections and archives), museums (curators, educators), and galleries; they work in the legal field (art law), with governmental agencies, as antique dealers, and in publishing.

There are many things Art History majors and minors can do while working toward their undergraduate degree. These include: joining art-related student organizations and some professional organizations (many have student-level memberships), volunteering with area arts organizations, seeking out student internships both locally and nationally, investigating study abroad programs, working with faculty on independent research projects, and conducting informational interviews with professionals in areas of interest to learn more about opportunities and strategies for success in these fields. Many of the careers listed above require graduate degrees. With this in mind, by the end of their junior and beginning of their senior year, students should be actively investigating graduate programs in their chosen area of interest. Upon graduation, graduates should continue to pursue many of these activities.

To be successful in the field, graduates should join art-related professional organizations, volunteer with fundraising efforts for the arts, gain experience through internships, and conduct informational interviews with professionals in areas of interest to learn more about opportunities and strategies for these areas.

Related Fields

Art Museums/Galleries

  • Museum Educator
  • Administrator
  • Curator
  • Conservator
  • Registrar
  • Collections Management Officer
  • Editor
  • Researcher
  • Developer/Fundraiser
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Exhibit Designer/Preparator
  • Archivist
  • Visual Resources Curator
  • Tour Guide/Docent

Employers

  • Government or private museums
  • Historic sites
  • Local historical societies
  • Galleries
  • College and universities
  • Arts organizations

Strategies

  • Earn an advanced degree in an academic discipline or museum studies for greater career opportunities.
  • Intern or volunteer in an art museum. Develop strength in art history areas.
  • Enhance computer skills.
  • Earn a business minor.
  • Acquire strong skills in research, fund-raising, speaking, and writing.
  • Develop good interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well on teams.

Education

  • Secondary School Teacher
  • College/University Professor
  • Art Librarian
  • Museum Educator
  • Visual Resources Curator
  • Docent/Tour Guide

Employers

  • Art schools
  • Public and private schools (K-12)
  • Colleges and universities
  • Adult and community programs
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Alternative schools

Strategies

  • Earn an advanced degree in an academic discipline or museum studies for greater career opportunities.
  • Obtain certification for public school teaching.
  • Graduate degree usually required for post-secondary teaching.
  • Develop a specialty area.
  • Work or volunteer as a tutor, camp counselor, Big Brother/Sister, or after-school program counselor.

  • Become a member of art clubs.
  • Obtain substitute-teaching experience.
  • Develop strength in art history areas.

Media and Sales

  • Editor
  • Art Journalist
  • Art Critic
  • Freelance Writer
  • Antiques/Books/Prints Dealer
  • Art Advisor/Consultant
  • Gallery Owner
  • Art Administrator
  • Art Agent
  • Art Buyer
  • Estate Appraiser
  • Auction Manager

Employers

    • Corporate media departments
    • Federal, state, and local government
    • Nonprofit agencies
    • Art-related publications
    • Publishing houses
    • Newspapers and magazines
    • Internet media companies
    • Hotel and corporate collections
    • Auction houses

Strategies

    • Compile an up-to-date portfolio of your writing.
    • Develop strong computer skills.
    • Work on student publications.
    • Gain experience through internships in media or related areas.
    • Supplement curriculum with courses in business, journalism, or broadcasting/electronic media.
    • Develop good interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well on teams.

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Mark Fauble  110 Student Services Building  mbfaubl@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5825 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Nancy Fewkes  Center for Visual Arts 119  nfewkes@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5627 

Applying to Illinois State

New freshmen will initially apply to the Art major. Students interested in pursuing Art History should complete the School of Art admissions forms and submit a supporting Statement of Interest following the School of Art guidelines.

Once admitted to the School of Art, students should enroll in Art 155 and Art 156 as soon as possible. Once students have completed both courses with a B or better, they should contact the advisors in the School of Art for instructions on formally declaring the Art History sequence. Formal declaration of the Art History sequence can occur as early as the second semester freshman year.

Once students have formally declared the Art History sequence, they will be assigned a faculty mentor in Art History and a School of Art academic advisor.

Art History Sequence Guidelines

Admission to the Art History sequence in the School of Art requires potential students to have completed Art 155 and Art 156 with grades of B or better, and to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50. Art History majors are also required to complete three semesters (12 hours) of one of the following languages: French, German, Italian or Spanish; or demonstrate proficiency at the third semester level or higher. In special circumstances, students may satisfy the Art History language requirement with a language or languages other than the four listed above. In such cases, the language(s) must be appropriate to the student’s plan of study and career goals. Alternate plans of language study must be approved by the Art History faculty in order to receive credit toward the sequence.

To remain in good standing, Art History majors are required to achieve a grade of C or better in all of the courses they take in the School of Art. Students not meeting these requirements will be placed on academic probation; any student placed on probation more than once will be automatically dismissed from the Sequence.

Note: The Art History sequence does not require any studio coursework.

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Transfer students who wish to declare their intention to major in Art History must apply and be accepted to Illinois State and must also receive admission into the School of Art. After completing your application to the University, please follow the instructions below to apply to the major in Art History.

Transferring students interested in pursuing Art History should complete the School of Art admissions forms and submit a supporting Statement of Interest following the School of Art guidelines.

Students who have not completed Art 155 and Art 156 (or IAI courses F2 901 and F2 902), earning a grade of B or better, should plan to enroll in those courses as soon as possible. If this requirement has been met at different institution, students should provide evidence (i.e. transcript) of this alongside their Statement of Interest. Once this requirement is met, students may formally declare their major and they will be assigned both a faculty mentor in Art History and a School of Art academic advisor.

Art History Sequence Guidelines

Admission to the Art History sequence in the School of Art requires potential students to have completed Art 155 and Art 156 with grades of B or better, and to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50. Art History majors are also required to complete three semesters (12 hours) of one of the following languages: French, German, Italian or Spanish; or demonstrate proficiency at the third semester level or higher. In special circumstances, students may satisfy the Art History language requirement with a language or languages other than the four listed above. In such cases, the language(s) must be appropriate to the student’s plan of study and career goals. Alternate plans of language study must be approved by the Art History faculty in order to receive credit toward the sequence.

To remain in good standing, Art History majors are required to achieve a grade of C or better in all of the courses they take in the School of Art. Students not meeting these requirements will be placed on academic probation; any student placed on probation more than once will be automatically dismissed from the sequence.

Note: The Art History sequence does not require any studio coursework.

Minimum GPA

2.00

Middle 50% GPA

3.03 - 3.36

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

  • Survey of Art I and II

Additional Information

Provide a statement of interest in this field.

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Nancy Fewkes  Center for Visual Arts 119  nfewkes@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5627 
Deanna Deatrick  Center for Visual Arts 119  dsdeatr@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5605 

Middle 50% GPA

3.03 - 3.36

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Application Period

Applications are always accepted.

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.

Major Requirements

Application Process

Current Illinois State students, no matter the College or Department, wishing to declare a major in Art History should contact the academic advisors in the School of Art. Current ISU students do not need to complete an additional application to be accepted into the School of Art but must satisfy screening requirements for the Art History major, stated below. Students who have not completed Art 155 and Art 156 (or IAI courses F2 901 and F2 902), earning a grade of B or better, should plan to enroll in those courses as soon as possible. Once this requirement is met, students may formally declare their major and they will be assigned both a faculty mentor in Art History and a School of Art academic advisor.

Students may combine Art History and Studio by declaring a second sequence in Studio Arts and fulfilling all requirements for both sequences. This double major will include submitting a portfolio of artwork for admission if the initial admission was to the Art History sequence, or a Statement of Interest if the initial admission was to the Studio Arts sequence.

Art History Sequence Guidelines

Admission to the Art History sequence in the School of Art requires potential students to have completed Art 155 and Art 156 with grades of B or better, and to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50. Art History majors are also required to complete three semesters (12 hours) of one of the following languages: French, German, Italian or Spanish; or demonstrate proficiency at the third semester level or higher. In special circumstances, students may satisfy the Art History language requirement with a language or languages other than the four listed above. In such cases, the language(s) must be appropriate to the student’s plan of study and career goals. Alternate plans of language study must be approved by the Art History faculty in order to receive credit toward the sequence.

To remain in good standing, Art History majors are required to achieve a grade of C or better in all of the courses they take in the School of Art. Students not meeting these requirements will be placed on academic probation; any student placed on probation more than once will be automatically dismissed from the sequence.

Note: The Art History sequence does not require any studio coursework.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Nancy Fewkes  Center for Visual Arts 119  nfewkes@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5627 
Deanna Deatrick  Center for Visual Arts 119  dsdeatr@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5605 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016
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