College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > History of Art & Architecture > Student Resources > Advising > General Questions

General Questions

What is the major?

The BA in the History of Art and Architecture offers a curriculum that identifies and promotes continuing contact with the enduring values of the world’s artistic heritage and the application of these values to the future. It aims educationally to provide a broad foundation in the history of art and architecture that emphasizes the exquisitely diverse ways that peoples across time and place have inscribed their most cherished cultural traditions onto their material world.

Does this major have concentrations?

No, there are no concentrations within the HAA major. In addition to the BA in the History of Art and Architecture, HAA offers three minors: 1) a minor in the History of Art and Architecture, 2) a Cities Minor, offered jointly with the Department of Geography, and 3) a Museum Studies Minor, offered jointly with the Departments of History, and Anthropology. The BA​ in HAA engages students in sophisticated discussion and critical analysis of diverse cultural, ethnic, and gender traditions in the visual arts within and outside of the student’s own culture, and encourages an in-depth awareness of the history of art as a discipline, with an emphasis on its most compelling theoretical issues and its various methodological approaches.

Interdisciplinary by its very nature, the program teaches students to see connections beyond the classroom to help prepare them for life after the degree. Faculty use the city of Chicago as an extension of the classroom with assignments that encourage practical engagement with real objects at local museums and galleries, as well as with the living architecture that distinguishes this great urban center. By requiring a range of geographic, chronological, and cultural courses at different levels, the program ensures mastery of general knowledge about the problems and issues within the discipline but also in-depth study of complex intellectual content.

View Major Requirements 
View Minor Requirements

Is it important for prospective majors to begin with certain classes their first quarter? If so, which classes?

In general students new to the discipline of the History of Art and Architecture should begin with 100-level classes. 100-level HAA courses cover large geographic areas over significant periods of time and are appropriate for majors and non-majors equally. They cover fundamental skills in history of art and architecture, including visual and iconographic analysis, and introduce students to the specialized vocabulary of the discipline.

HAA offers the following four 100-level classes, at least two of which are off​ered each quarter:

HAA 101: African Art
HAA 115: Asian Art
HAA 130: European Art
HAA 145: Arts of the Americas

View complete list of classes, including descriptions for all HAA courses​

What careers are available to students who major in this area?

A broad range of career opportunities in many different areas exist for graduates. These include, but are not limited to, the following: Curatorial Consultant, Art Gallery Professional, Art Educator, Antiques Dealer, Artist’s Representative, Art Lawyer, and Arts Organization Consultant. The types of jobs possible are: Museum Work, Antiquarian Book Trade, Estate and Art Appraiser, Historic Preservation, Art and Architectural Conservation, Corporate Curator, Freelance Writing, Visual Resource Curator, and Teaching, to name some of the most common.

Additional information on these and many other career paths for students who major in HAA may be found on the web site entitled Career Alternatives for Art Historians.

How do I declare a major in History of Art and Architecture?

Declare your major by submitting the Declaration of Major, Minor and Concentration form. The college recommends that students declare their major by the end of their sophomore year.

How do I transfer from the "old" Art History major to the "new" Art History major?

Please contact your advisor to discuss the implications of such a change and to make this arrangement. For more on the "old" versus "​new" programs see the Appendix.

If I want to transfer to the "new" Art History major, is there a deadline for doing this?

There is no firm deadline for transferring from the "old" to the "new" major. However, all majors declared beginning in Autumn 2013 will follow the new major requirements.

Who should I talk to if I have question about the major?

Students seeking advisement or further information in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture or wishing to declare a major or minor in the History of Art and Architecture should contact  the chair of the department (see Contact Us). The department chair welcomes your questions regarding the major or minors within the department. Continuing students who do not know their faculty advisor should contact the HAA Program Assistant, also listed on the Contact Us page.​