Art History Major

Art embodies the rich tapestry of human history and cultures across the world. Art history examines how images and monuments communicate and how they function in society: to teach and to move; to exalt and to incite.

As an art history major, you'll gain access to other cultures, other eras, and other ways of thinking. You'll also get ready for your junior year abroad and for an entire lifetime of thinking and living with global and historical perspectives.

Art history majors develop a keen eye plus excellent research, analytic, critical thinking, and communication skills—launching pads for many careers. Suffolk’s art history graduates have gone on to pursue advanced studies in art history, archive management, museum studies, and law. Others have found meaningful careers in a range of arts-related venues such as galleries and museums, auction houses, archives, and nonprofit cultural institutions.  

Boston's Rich Cultural Resources

Our city is your classroom. Boston is home to renowned architecture from the classical State House to the modernist City Hall, and to world-class art collections from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Institute of Contemporary Art.

All art history courses at Suffolk move beyond the classroom to take advantage of the opportunities to view and analyze works of art and architecture in person. Most students also find internships at local museums and galleries, providing valuable experiences and networks for their post-college careers.

Suffolk's Own Resources

Suffolk provides a wealth of opportunities to enrich your education and experiences. The newly-renovated studio and workshop spaces of the Art & Design Department are available for those with a creative bent. Or you can pair your art history major with a minor in Arts Administration, which takes advantage of offerings in Suffolk’s Business School.

Study Abroad

Suffolk encourages you to travel during your junior year to explore the artistic cultures of cities abroad. You can study in Madrid, where you'll encounter Spain's artistic treasures up close. We also maintain reciprocal relationships with universities around the globe. 

Mission Statement

The major in Art History provides students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to flourish both personally and professionally. By graduation, students will:

  • Be able to analyze and interpret art—and, more broadly, visual communication—in relation to its social and cultural context, using a variety of approaches (iconological, socio-historical, feminist, and so on)
  • Appreciate the diverse roles that art has played in society, from state propaganda to social criticism; objective documentation to subjective expression; and spiritual transcendence to sensual indulgence
  • Through the study of art, have an understanding of different historical periods and cultures, and an appreciation of the diversity of their values and social practices
  • Be prepared for graduate study or for professions in museums, galleries, archives, schools, and other cultural institutions
  • Have developed competencies valuable to many professions, including sound written and oral communication, research, and critical-thinking skills
  • Be engaged with the arts community outside of the University

Courses & Requirements

Learn more about the classes, requirements, and different options available to complete the program.