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Art history

Program Coordinator: Lisa Seppi
Office: 25B Hewitt Union
Phone: 315-312-3184 

Through the study of art history, students learn the importance of the visual arts in their own lives as well as in past and present cultures. Students thoroughly examine artwork to understand its significance as an expression of any given culture. Since art history is interdisciplinary by nature, students encounter serious studies in areas such as history, literature, philosophy, religion, science and technology. Critical awareness is developed through practicing formal analysis and studying theoretical writings. Assignments are designed to improve research and writing skills.

The Art Department offers a wide range of art history courses dealing with western cultures. Students are advised to take studio and museum courses as well. They are also encouraged to take courses in humanities and social sciences which relate to art history.

Students may pursue a major through the B.A. in Art Track II. This major may be combined with a minor in Museum Studies. A minor in Art History is also offered. Students with majors in anthropology, communication studies, history, or literature might find this minor program a viable compliment to their field of study.


Offerings in Art History are particularly extensive for a college the size of Oswego. Students take a two semester Survey of Art and may select upper division courses such as Twentieth-Century, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic, Native American, or Museum Studies. Students in Museum Studies and Art History look for careers in institutions and archives.

Requirements (40 Semester Hours)


  • ART 111 - Freshmen Colloquium or ART 311 - Transfer Student Colloquium
  • Choice of ART 102 - Topics in Traditional Media or ART 105 - Design Concepts I
  • ART 207 - Digital Media-Static 


  • ART 250 - Western Heritage I - Survey of Art I
  • ART 251 - Western Heritage II - Survey of Art II
  • One Course in Non-Western ART History
  • One Course in Modern or Contemporary Art History
  • ART 353 - Twentieth-Century Art
  • ART 471 - Senior Seminar in Contemporary Art and Design
  • ART 499 - Independent Study 

Three Art History or Museum Studies courses chosen under advisement.

One course with the course prefix ART or ARH.