The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Students wishing to major in History of Art and Architecture should consult with the Undergraduate Program Director, Nancy Noble. Please contact her at to make an appointment. We encourage students to take two survey courses (preferably 100 and 110) before declaring the major, but exceptions are made, especially for transfer students.  Each major selects or is assigned a faculty advisor and should consult with the advisor each semester during counseling week in order to obtain approval for the following semester’s courses.  Course listings, including those for other Five College art history departments, are available in the Department’s Main Office each semester.

Majors are encouraged to select courses in a wide range of media, historical periods, and geographical areas.  Survey courses beyond the introductory level are numbered 300-389 for undergraduates and 600-689 for graduate students; graduate students have different assignments from the work assigned to undergraduates in these courses.

Juniors and Seniors may arrange for an Independent Study project (1-6 credits) with an individual faculty member.  Such projects invariably develop out of previous course work with the instructor and are formalized in a contract signed by both the student and the sponsor.  Museum and gallery internships are defined in the same way.

Majors are urged to gain reading knowledge of two foreign languages.  The College of Humanities and Fine Arts requires that one language must be completed through the 240, or fourth–semester level.  French and German are strongly recommended, as they both are necessary for graduate study and for many careers in the field.  

The Language Across the Curriculum (LAC) option allows students taking upper-level courses to arrange with faculty for extra course-associated reading in a foreign language, usually accompanied by a journal or other written record, which is recorded as one hour of Independent Study credit.

Majors are also encouraged to take related courses in Art, especially Art 104 and 105.  Related courses in Anthropology, Archaeology, Classics, English, Film Studies, History, Languages, Music, and Philosophy will further strengthen the major.

Learning Objectives and Goals of the Major Requirements | Academic Track | Advanced Coursework | Career Paths | Phi Beta Kappa