College of Arts and Sciences

Art History

Program Options

Department of Art & Design web site

The information on this page pertains to program requirements for students who matriculated in the 2023-2024 academic year.  View requirements for previous catalog years here.

Program Overview

This program enables students to develop both the vocabulary and the conceptual framework for the analysis of artistic productions from a broad range of time periods and cultures. Students also develop the research and writing skills necessary for critical investigation. Familiarity with traditional and contemporary scholarship becomes a basis for focused, independent art historical inquiry.

Unlike many comparable programs, the study of art history at Drake is fully integrated within the studio and design areas of the department. The Art History major combines studio experience with an introduction to the practices, theories, and debates of the discipline. Students therefore gain experience in making images as well as in interpreting them.

B.A. Degree Requirements

The B.A. in art history prepares students to navigate the complexity of visual culture, whether past or present, by introducing them to the specialized language and strategies of image making as well as by providing them with a rigorous historical introduction to the production, interpretation and circulation of artworks. The curriculum employs new models of teaching and theorizing art history in order to acknowledge changes in the field. For example, unlike the longstanding emphasis on chronology in beginning surveys of art history, the introductory courses at Drake employ a thematic approach that traces formal and conceptual concerns across multiple time periods and cultures. Upper-level courses offer critical reexaminations of the categories fundamental to the founding of art history including national tradition, stylistic periods and definitions of modernity. The Art History Capstone introduces students to the professional practice of curating.

**Foreign language study is strongly recommended for majors planning to attend graduate school in art history.**

Course Credits
ART 013 - 2-D Design, or
ART 014 - Constructing Space
ART 015 - Observational Drawing 3
ART 016 - Concepts in Drawing 3
ART 075 - Themes in Art History 4
Introductory Studio Art Course (Printmaking, Painting, or Sculpture) - Select one from the following
ART 056 - Introduction to Printmaking 3
ART 057 - Introduction to Relief Printmaking 3
ART 058 - Introduction to Intaglio Printmaking 3
ART 059 - Introduction to Lithographic Printmaking 3
ART 063 - Pushing Paint 3
ART 079 - Building Ideas
ART 199 - Art and Theory 3
Art History electives 15
ART 197 - Art History Capstone 4

In addition to requirements for all undergraduate degrees, which can be found in the “Graduation Requirements” area of the catalog, Art and Design students must meet the following requirements:

A student is placed on probation if either the cumulative grade-point average or the average in Department of Art and Design courses falls below 2.00 (a "C" average) during any semester in which a student has earned less than 30 total credit hours. A student may be placed on probation for failing to meet the University’s standards for satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements.

To continue progress toward a Department of Art and Design degree, a student must have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade-point average and a 2.5 GPA in the Department of Art and Design courses at the end of the academic term in which the student completes the 30th credit hour. For transfer students, the 30th-hour GPA must be based upon at least 15 credit hours earned at Drake. Students who achieve the 2.5 GPA at the 30th-hour level are placed on probation if their GPAs fall below 2.5 in a subsequent semester. If the GPA is not raised to 2.5 or better after the probationary semester, the student may not continue in the Department of Art and Design or re-enroll later.

Art History Minor

The minor in Art History is designed for those students outside the Department of Art and Design who want to know more about the history of art and art issues. The minor of 20 credit hours generally consists of the following courses selected in consultation with an Art History faculty advisor.

Course Credits
Select one Foundation Studio class from the following:
ART 013 - 2-D Design 3
ART 014 - Constructing Space 3
ART 015 - Observational Drawing 3
ART 075 - Themes in Art History 4
Art History Electives 9
ART 197 - Art History Capstone 4

Art and Art History credit hours total must meet or exceed 20.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.