Art History and Visual Studies (BA)


The Art History and Visual Studies major is designed to make you a wise navigator of our media-saturated environment. The program has a modern and contemporary focus, and encourages hands-on engagement with mounting, curating, and reviewing gallery shows.

  • A minimum 59 credits are required for this major, including 24 upper-division credits.
  • You do not need to submit a portfolio to enter this major.
  • You will probe the historical origins of our present visual climate, develop strong research and writing skills, and investigate the latest trends in critical theory.
  • An optional biennial excursion to Rome, Italy, gives you the opportunity to both absorb and critique the foundations of Western culture.

Entering and completing the Art history and Visual Studies major

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • You do not need to submit a portfolio to enter this major.
  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified this major as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major.
  • To change or to enter a major or minor in this department, follow these instructions.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Time Schedule:

Course planning: Suggested course sequences