ART HISTORY FAQs
Do I need to be a major in order to take an Art History class?
No, students from across the campus enroll in Art History as well as Studio Art courses, regardless of their majors. However, please be sure to complete the stated prerequisites, or obtain the permission of the instructor, before registering for 200- and 300-level courses.
I want to enroll in ARTH XXX but it’s full; what should I do?
Email the instructor ahead of time so she or he knows of your interest. Then plan to attend the first class session to see if space becomes available. It is not uncommon for students to change plans after registering, so the online enrollment figures may be misleading.
How do I construct an Art History major or minor?
You should plan your major in conjunction with an advisor from among the faculty of our Department; you can choose your own advisor from among the professors you have had already, or we can assign one to you. You can find information about the requirements for the major and minor elsewhere on our website.
I took Advanced Placement Art History in high school; do I have to take ARTH 100 or 101?
While some A.P. coursework may be credited towards your Wellesley degree, A.P. credits will not be applied towards the minimum units that comprise an Art History major or minor. All majors and minors must take ARTH 100 and 101 (as well as their Studio requirement) on campus; our course will invariably cover different material, in different ways, than your A.P. course and it will provide you with the best possible introduction to the Department.
The class I want to take conflicts with the rest of my schedule; could I arrange an independent study instead?
An independent study is something that you might propose to a professor after you have exhausted the regular course offerings in a particular field. It consists of one semester of self-directed research (either a half-credit 250 or a full-credit 350) under the guidance of a professor who knows the subject, and you, well. It provides an opportunity to research a specific topic in greater depth, and should be seen as an extension to, not a replacement for, our regular course offerings. You should also bear in mind that there are limits to the number of independent studies our faculty can take on each semester.
What’s the difference between an independent study and a thesis?
A 360/370 thesis is a year-long research project for two credits at the advanced level, structured to meet the requirements of the College-wide honors program. For more information see the guidelines posted elsewhere on this website.
Is it possible to audit an Art History class?
Student auditors are welcome in ARTH 100 and 101 lectures (but not the conference sections) and in many of our 200-level courses. Email the instructor before the semester begins to see if she or he will accept auditors; some classes are limited by classroom space..
Will I be able to study abroad as part of my major?
All Art Department majors are encouraged to study abroad if they are interested in doing so. You should check with the Office of International Study to learn about possible programs, as well as your advisor and/or program director. With careful planning, a semester or year abroad can fit into your overall plan of study and the successful completion of the requirements for your major or minor.
How many transfer courses can I count towards my major?
Up to two courses taken off campus may be counted towards a minimum Art History major. Students may obtain transfer credit for additional courses taken elsewhere, but these are applied toward general degree credit. You must go through the official process detailed on the Registrar’s website obtain credit.
I want to continue my Art History studies in graduate school. What should I do?
You and your advisor should discuss where your academic and personal choices appear to be leading you, and what programs may be best suited to your interests and abilities. Although the Department does not encourage over-specialization, by careful choice of related courses a student may plan a field of concentration emphasizing one period or area. Majors considering graduate school are also encouraged to take courses in the language, culture, and history of the areas associated with their specific fields of interest. While some Art History majors apply to M.A. and Ph.D programs during their senior years, others wait a year or more before applying.
How do I find an internship in the arts?
Check the list of arts-based internships sponsored and/or listed with the Center for Work and Service, talk with your professors, and compare notes with other majors throughout the Department. Some internships are arranged informally, while others are the result of a comprehensive application and interview process. Consider the possibilities well in advance, and revisit your goals regularly so that you’ll have taken relevant coursework and will be ready to respond should an opportunity present itself.