Learn the story of art, up close.
Art history is an interdisciplinary field, drawing upon philosophy, history, literature, religion, and more to examine works of art and their contexts.
The Bachelor of Arts in Art History provides a foundation in the history of art and architecture in its cultural and theoretical context and with our Technical Art History courses, a depth of knowledge of the science behind the art that is unrivaled.
At WVU we have a small, supportive art-history community with a student-run art history club and research opportunities available with your art history professors, plus all of the advantages of being in a major research university.
Each semester, art history classes travel to conduct research and examine art in person at regional museums and archives. Majors participate in our Global Positioning Studies initiative and can choose to earn credits from a number of education abroad and field study courses. Faculty-led courses are offered abroad in the Disegno Italia and San Gemini Preservation Studies programs in Italy, or 19th Century Painting and Photography in France.
The Art Museum of WVU, the Mesaros Galleries in the Creative Arts Center, and the Visiting Artist Lecture Series offer unique opportunities in your course of study and allow for curatorial exploration. Internships with regional museums and galleries are possible.
WVU BA Art History alumni are successfully employed in positions at the Andy Warhol Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University and Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery to name a few. Some graduates elect to continue their studies in art history, museum studies, archeology, library science, and law, among others—we have a strong record of placing students in the schools of their choice.
Starting Fall 2021: Art History + Law 3+3 Program
WVU now offers one of the few 3+3 programs in the country that provides a carefully articulated Plan of Study (PDF) to support student success in earning both a BA in Art History AND a JD in Law in six years.
Through research methods and theory courses, art history majors learn to focus different lenses onto their research questions and develop the capacity for reflective judgment, along with the ability to communicate effectively. This training situates art history students well for considering the ethical obligations of being a lawyer.
Former WVU Art History graduates have gone on to law school and now practice in areas related to trademark and copyright, civil rights, and immigration law. In addition to concentrating on these and other areas, the WVU College of Law has classes on Art Law and Cultural Property Law for those interested in intellectual property rights, global art crime, protection, provenance, and repatriation.
Learn more about qualifying for the 3+3 program at admissions.law.wvu.edu.
Master or Minor in Art History
A Master of Arts degree in Art History is also available.
We also offer a popular minor in art history that provides skills and knowledge that enhance many other degrees.