The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Majors' Academic Track

This academic track is intended to give majors a general and approximate outline for their college careers; individual cases will of course vary.  The track is based on a total of 120 credits needed to graduate (up to 10 courses per year), a maximum requirement of 12 General Education courses, 13 courses required for the major (including Junior Year Writing and the Integrative Experience), and the foreign language requirement.

First Year

During the first year, majors establish a solid background in History of Art and Architecture, including knowledge of major monuments and works, visual analysis and comparison techniques, and basic methodologies in the field.  Outside the major, students pursue a diverse, broad education through the General Education program.  They also improve their general writing skills and begin or continue foreign language study.

  • Two 100-level survey courses:  Art-Hist 100 and Art-Hist 110 are most highly recommended for majors; students who take Art-Hist 115 instead are encouraged to combine it with Art-Hist 118.
  • One College Writing course
  • Five General Education requirements
  • Two Foreign Language courses

Second Year

During the second year, students begin more detailed study of particular periods and cultures. They begin writing more complex art history papers, often involving research.  They are introduced to more complex methodological issues, research methods, and critical analysis of art historical literature.  Outside the Department they continue their language study, which may also have some applications in courses for the major.  They continue their diverse general education.

  • Three upper-level distribution requirements in History of Art and Architecture
  • Five General Education requirements
  • Two Foreign Language courses

Third Year

During the third year, students consolidate their writing skills, improve their research and critical analysis abilities, and deepen their understanding of methods.  They broaden and deepen their scope of study to include upper-level coursework in fields related to art history and are strongly encouraged to continue further study of their first foreign language and/or begin study of a second foreign language, all with possible applications in courses for the major.  Students also often study abroad or pursue museum or other internships for a full year, a semester, or over the summer.  Preliminary discussions with faculty regarding career plans and graduate study are encouraged.

  • Art-Hist 370:  The Department’s Junior Year Writing Course
  • One General Education requirement
  • Three upper-level requirements in History of Art and Architecture
  • Five elective courses

Fourth Year

In the fourth year, majors polish their skills in writing, research, critical analysis, and methods.  They are encouraged to give oral presentations in undergraduate or graduate seminars.  They may also arrange independent study projects with individual faculty.  Honors students are required to research and write a thesis during the fourth year.  All majors continue upper level coursework in related fields and are strongly encouraged to continue foreign language study or begin study of a second foreign language. Students often study abroad for a semester or during the summer and pursue internships for varying periods of time.  Consultation with faculty on career plans and graduate study is strongly encouraged.

  • Art-Hist 415: The Department’s Integrative Experience Course
  • Two upper-level requirements in History of Art and Architecture
  • Six elective courses

RECOMMENDED GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES (with an emphasis on those that fulfill requirements other than AT or AL)

  • Anthropology:  102 Archaeology and Prehistory; 104 Culture, Society, and People; 106 Culture Through Film; 150 Ancient Civilizations
  • Art:  104 Basic Studio/Drawing; 105 Basic Studio/Design
  • Computer Science:  105 Computer Literacy
  • Classics:  100 Greek Civilization; 102 Roman Civilization; 224 Greek Mythology; 300 Greek Archaeology; 301 Roman Archaeology
  • Geosciences:  102 The Human Landscape
  • History:  100 Western Thought to 1600; 101 Western Thought Since 1600; 112 Introduction to World Religions; 130 Middle Eastern History I; 131 Middle Eastern History II; 140 European History 1500-1815; 141 European History 1815 to Present; 150 American Civilization to 1876; 151 American Civilization since 1876
  • Linguistics:  201 Introduction to Linguistic Theory
  • Mathematics:  100 Basic Mathematics Skills for the Modern World
  • Philosophy:  110 Introduction to Logic; 361 Philosophy of Art