History of Art and Architecture emphasizes culture and history to give you an excellent liberal arts degree that's flexible and rigorous.

A degree in History of Art and Architecture is not only great preparation for work in arts-related fields—it also helps you hone the skills necessary in any profession involving visual culture in its broadest sense. You'll gain historical and cultural understanding, and you'll learn skills in critical analysis, persuasive argumentation, thorough research, and effective writing.

You'll choose between courses in the major fields of western European art and architecture: Ancient Greek and Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, and the seventeenth through twenty-first centuries.

Your courses will take you through art all over the world: the Americas, East Asian, and Islamic art, and more. Opportunities to take classes at the other institutions of the Five Colleges—Smith, Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire—expand credited coursework to include the art of Africa and South Asia.  

UMass Amherst is right in the heart of New England, which gives you easy access to a wide variety of collections, monuments, and historic sites in the Northeast. Visits to institutions from Boston to New York are an essential part of your curriculum here.

We actively encourage students to study abroad and to seek internships in related fields. Our majors have an impressive record of participation in national summer internship programs. A combination of practical, hands-on experience and rigorous academic study has contributed to the notable success enjoyed by our majors continuing to work and study in the field after graduation.

Emma Holtz smiling in a brown sweater, pink background.

Undergraduate Spotlight: Emma Holtz ('23)

My professors in the Art History department inspire me every day to be the best person I can be. I am extremely fortunate to be part of a smaller department where I know my professors personally and know they want to see me excel. When it comes to both my studies here at UMass and my life after graduation, they are always ready with advice, recommendations, and support. I would not be where I am today without their guidance!

–Emma Holtz '23, History of Art & Architecture Major (HFA Senior Series)

Chelsea Staub smiling under pink, blue, and purple-colored lighting

Undergraduate Spotlight: Chelsea Staub ('23)

I'm most proud of my accomplishment in returning to school and finishing my undergraduate degree here at UMass. After dropping out of college in 2009, I never thought I'd have the opportunity or skillset to continue with my education. Overcoming these beliefs and applying to UMass allowed me to embark on a new path and unlock my potential. My success in achieving my academic goals stems from the constant support and guidance from my professors and advisors whose kindness, wisdom, and trust have empowered me, helping me to step into the best version of myself.

–Chelsea Staub '23, Art History Major (HFA Senior Series)