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College of Arts and Sciences

Minor in Art History

boston college fine arts department

The minor in Art History will provide the student with an introduction to the art of the western world. In addition to the two introductory courses (FA 101 and FA 102), the student will have a choice of two 200-level courses and at least two 300-level courses for a total of four upper-level classes covering specific art-historical periods. In these courses, the student will be exposed to the methods of the discipline and will complete a research paper. Students interested in declaring a minor can contact Professor Pamela Berger.

Requirements | Additional Stipulations | Registration Form | Information for Advisors


Requirements for the Art History Minor

Requirement #1 (two courses)

  • FA 101 - Art from Prehistoric Times to the Late Middle Ages
  • FA 102 - Art from the Renaissance to Our Time

Requirement #2

Four additional courses in art history at or above the 200 level, with at least two of these at or above the 300 level. Designed for flexibility, the Minor does not require students to fulfill a distribution of courses in chronological periods. However, it does require a concentration of at least two courses in one chronological period. For the purposes of the Minor, the chronological periods are:

  • Ancient/Medieval
  • Renaissance/Baroque
  • Nineteenth/Twentieth Century
  • Non-Western

Requirement #3

A research paper in art history written as part of one of the courses listed in Requirement #2. A copy of this paper is to be turned into the Chairperson/Art History Minor advisor, and the title and grade of the paper recorded on the advising sheets to be kept in the department office.


Additional Stipulations for the Art History Minor

  • Courses with FA numbers in Museum Studies, Critical Theory, and non-western Art may also be chosen to fulfill requirement #2 and the required research paper may be produced in these courses as well.
  • No more than one independent study course may count toward the minor in Art History.
  • Courses to be counted in the minor must be taken for a grade (may not be taken pass/fail).
  • No course may count in both a major and a minor. Studio majors who wish to minor in art history will be asked to take a total of six courses beyond FA101/FA102 (which are already required for the studio major) following the stipulations for requirements #2.
  • Students having earned a score of five on their AP exam may have the option of waiving the FA 101 and FA 102 requirement, although the same overall number of courses (six) remains unchanged. Students having earned a score of four may waive either 101 or 102, but not both.

Art History Minor Registration Form


Information for Art History Advisors

Requirement #1

The introductory art history courses (FA101/FA102) are the proper ones to begin the minor sequence and provide a satisfactory overview for students taking a minor, but it is not our intent that students who become interested in Art History after taking one of the other core level art history courses such as Great Art Capitols (FA 108) or Aspects of Art (FA 109), be required to repeat that material in core level courses. These courses could be substituted at the discretion of the chairperson/minor advisor for one or the other of FA 101/FA 102, in the usual substitution and waiver process.

Requirement #2

Students can, if they wish, do all their additional courses for requirement #2 at or above the 300 level. There is no necessity that they do any 200-level courses. Students may also do all of their additional four courses in a single chronological area, if they wish, or spread them among two or more areas, so long as they do at least two of them in a single area. Students may also select courses in Museum Studies, Critical Theory, and Non-Western Art for the Art History minor (which courses normally fall outside the chronological divisions listed above).

Requirement #3

As a final for the minor, the faculty recommends a full-blown research paper to be produced as a part of a regular Art History course. This research paper may be written in any of the courses taken to fulfill Requirement #2. It is specifically to be a research paper, as opposed to a visual analysis paper. With the agreement of the faculty member teaching the course, it may be produced even in courses where the customary assigned paper is not a research paper. Both the instructor and the student should be aware that the paper is being written in fulfillment of the requirements for the Art History minor. A copy of the paper should be turned into the department office or to the Art History minor advisor and somehow officially stamped or otherwise designated as fulfilling the requirements for the minor. Most 300-level Art History courses already require a research paper, so this will not add substantially to the instructor's burdens in those courses where minors choose to write these papers. Minors in Art History should be encouraged to take seminar style courses to fulfill this requirement.


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