Art History

Bachelor of Arts in Art History
School of Art
College of Arts and Sciences

The discipline of Art History investigates how individuals and communities use the visual art to express their identities, beliefs and creative ideas across time and cultures. By exploring the history of art, individuals are exposed to richly diverse perspectives on the human condition and are offered the opportunity to train their senses while engaging with critical theory.

Career Opportunities

A BA degree in Art History provides a solid foundation in the discipline to students interested in the history of the visual arts. While professional careers in art history usually require training beyond the bachelor’s degree, the BA in Art History prepares individuals for subsequent graduate work toward an advanced degree and for the other careers that build upon a knowledge of visual culture.

Students with a BA degree in Art History may pursue any number of careers, including: secondary or university teaching, curatorial, administrative, education, and library positions in museums, art restoration and conservation, art law, art and business, cultural resource management, positions in commercial galleries, as well as art dealing and arts administration. Graduates earning a BA in Art History at BGSU have gone on to study at some of the country’s finest graduate schools, where a number have earned their doctoral degree. BGSU’s network of Art History graduates extends throughout the country in museums, galleries, universities, historical foundations, and other arts.


Students in the BA in Art History program begin their studies with four core courses, including the history of Western Art, World Art, and methods and theory. They also receive basic instruction in an art studio course to acquire a practical knowledge of the terms, media, and principles used in artistic production.
At the upper level, students are required to take 10 art history courses. Six are chosen from courses offered in four areas of study: ancient, early modern, modern and contemporary, and world art. The remaining four courses include three seminars on topics chosen from the areas above, plus Professional Practices in Art History.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Study abroad opportunities in which students may gain art history credit include programs in Florence, Italy, and Ghana, West Africa. Information on the programs, budget, schedule and contact information is available through the School of Art’s website.


Library resources available include BGSU’s Jerome Library on the main campus as well as the library collections and image resources across Ohio and beyond through OhioLINK (a partnership between university libraries throughout Ohio), ILL (library lending throughout the US), and numerous subscription-based digital databases, including ARTstor and JStor. Art history students are also encouraged to use BGSU’s Browne Popular Culture Library and the Toledo Museum of Art’s Reference Library.

Student Organizations

The Art History Association (AHA) offers students an opportunity to get involved with arts on and off campus. The student-led group organizes museum and gallery tours, participates in local art events, and fosters the appreciation of the arts by giving docent tours in the BGSU Fine Arts Gallery, along with other fun activities.

Special Features

Because the Art History program is housed within the School of Art and is part of its curriculum, students majoring in Art History have ample opportunity to experience art first-hand, from its creation in the BGSU art studios through its exhibition in the School of Art’s Willard Wankelman and Dorothy Uber Bryan art galleries.

In addition, students have access to some of the nation’s finest collections of art in nearby institutions, including the Toledo Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Columbus Museum of Art. Museums and galleries located throughout the region offer the possibility of student internships. BGSU’s School of Art hosts a robust lecture series throughout the year featuring leading scholars in art history.

Preparation for College

Prospective students are urged to take advantage of any general art classes available. A solid background in history and all the major humanities is essential. Because a knowledge of languages is often necessary for reading scholarly works in the field, students are advised to begin their language training in high school.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU. To enhance your future college experience in art, consider taking two to four years of the same foreign language, a course in writing and courses that provide exposure to the visual and performing arts.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Art History, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: