Declaring the Major | Progressing in the Major
Art history is a major offered by the School of Art, Design and Art History, a program within the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
The art history major offers you the opportunity to study the history of the visual arts in their cultural and social contexts. You will gain a global perspective on the arts: the art history program emphasizes courses in western art (Western Europe and America) from ancient to modern times, as well as African art and other select non-Western fields.
You will learn to describe, analyze, and interpret the form and content of works of art. You will become familiar with art history theory and methods of analysis and art criticism. And you will gain valuable experience in writing and researching in the field of art history. The art history program encourages students to take advantage of the year-round JMU studies abroad programs and to participate in internship experiences both on campus during the academic year and in museums, historic houses, and galleries during the summer.
The art history program advocates interdisciplinary study in other humanistic disciplines and actively supports students who want to double major with other related fields. JMU art history faculty possesses expertise in a wide variety of historical areas and enjoys working with students on independent studies, honors theses, or exhibition projects.
For further information, visit the School of Art and Art History website.
New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Declare the art history major when you register for orientation.
Currently Enrolled Major Changers
Submit a "Change or Declaration of Major" form to the School of Art, Design and Art History in Duke Hall, room 215 and obtain the program director's signature.
The Museum Studies Concentration enriches the Art History curriculum. History and theory-oriented classes will introduce you to the role and function of museums in society. Experiential practica or internship courses will expose you to the wide range of work conducted in museums.
While the concentration is academic and not vocational, it offers you valuable hands-on experience beneficial for admission into graduate school and entry into the competitive market of art-related professions. Art History majors who complete the concentration will be well positioned for seeking employment in regional and state museums. For information on admission to the museum studies concentration, please see the section below on "Progressing in the Major."
Remain in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
Admission to the Museum Studies Concentration in Art History
In addition to the requirements for the Art History major, The Museum Studies concentration requires 15 credit hours (5 courses), 3 credit hours of which may count towards both the Art History Major and the Museum Studies Concentration.
To be eligible to apply for admission, you must have a cumulative 3.30 GPA within a minimum of 9 credits in Art History (ARTH) and General Education Art History (GARTH) courses. The program will consider grades from any new transfer student who has earned JMU approved credit for an art history course taken at another institution provided the student submits a transcript.
You may apply to the concentration in the fall or spring semester but no later than the last day of the course add registration deadline (usually the third Thursday of each semester).
Submit a copy of your unofficial transcript to the program coordinator.