Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Art History

Undergraduate Degree

Bachelor of Arts in Art History

In art history, undergraduates are provided with a sound, broad foundation in art from a variety of offerings. On this basis, exploration of the art of many eras and cultures proceeds in a program designed to develop an awareness of the integral role played by art as an expression of the human condition and society throughout history. A grade of C or higher is required in departmental courses for all undergraduate majors.

Curriculum Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts in Art History requires 128 units.

General Education and Diversity Requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts in Art History must complete the general education and diversity requirements of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Major Requirements

The major requires 40 units as follows.

lower-division REQUIREMENTS (8 UNITS) Units
AHIS 120 Foundations of Western Art, or
AHIS 121 Art and Society: Renaissance to Modern 4

Choose one course from:
AHIS 125 Arts of Asia: Antiquity to 1300 4
AHIS 126 Introduction to Asian Art: 1300 to the Present 4
AHIS 127 Arts and Civilizations of Ancient Middle and South America 4
AHIS 128 Arts of Latin America 4
8
Additional Requirements (32 units)

AHIS 494 is required. Seven additional ­courses to include five courses with a minimum of one in each of four out of the following five areas of study, only one of which may be at the 200 level. Greek and Roman art and archaeology — AHIS 201, AHIS 321, AHIS 322; Medieval art — AHIS 220, AHIS 330; Renaissance and Baroque art — AHIS 230, AHIS 304, AHIS 343, AHIS 344; modern and contemporary art — AHIS 250, AHIS 255, AHIS 270, AHIS 361, AHIS 363, AHIS 364, AHIS 365, AHIS 368, AHIS 369, AHIS 370, AHIS 373; non-­European traditions — AHIS 282, AHIS 319, AHIS 376, AHIS 377, AHIS 381, AHIS 384, AHIS 385, AHIS 386, AHIS 387, and two that must be at the 400-level. (AHIS 400x counts for elective credit only and may not be applied to the major.) AHIS 494 (the capstone course) may be taken in either the junior or senior year.

The following courses require written permission of the chair of the Art History Department: AHIS 495ab ­Undergraduate Honors Thesis (2-2) and AHIS 499 Special Topics (2–4, max 8).

Art History Honors Program

Candidates for the B.A. in the Department of Art History can earn a designation on their transcripts of departmental honors. Admission to the Honors Program is required.

Prerequisites: 3.5 overall GPA, 3.5 major GPA or better, completion of at least three upper-division art history courses at the time of admission, submission of an application form to the undergraduate faculty adviser.

Required for departmental honors: maintain GPA requirements stated above and complete AHIS 495ab Undergraduate Honors Thesis.

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Archaeology

See Religion for a complete listing.

Minor in Art History

Art history combines the study of art with the study of culture broadly conceived. The art history minor offers a concentrated course of study that includes a variety of objects from different historical periods and cultures in relation to their makers, patrons, viewers and critics. Students in the minor are trained to analyze visual images and information through a process of intensive looking, reading, research and writing.

Lower-division Curriculum (8 units)

choose two lower-division courses; only one may be at the 200 level Units
AHIS 120 Foundations of Western Art 4
AHIS 121 Art and Society: Renaissance to Modern 4
AHIS 125 Arts of Asia: Antiquity to 1300 4
AHIS 126 Introduction to Asian Art: 1300 to the Present 4
AHIS 127 Arts and Civilizations of Ancient Middle and South America 4
AHIS 128 Arts of Latin America 4
AHIS 201 Digging into the Past: Material Culture and the Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean 4
AHIS 220 Medieval Visual Culture 4
AHIS 230 Art and Culture in Early Modern Europe 4
AHIS 250 Modernity and Difference: Critical Approaches to Modern Art 4
AHIS 255 Cultural Wars: Art and Social Conflict in the Modern World 4
AHIS 270 L.A. Now: Contemporary Art in Los Angeles 4
AHIS 282 Korean Art 4
Upper-division Requirement (16 units)

Choose from 300- and 400-level AHIS courses. At least one course must be at the 400 level.

Minor in Visual Culture

A critical approach to art history is the departure point for the minor in visual culture, which is dedicated to the analysis of the visual arts, broadly defined to include fine art, film and television, photography and video, illustrated books, advertising, architecture and design. Students are required to take two introductory courses in the history and theory of art. These courses will prepare them for focused study in one of three concentrations: (1) photography, film and the reproduction of images, (2) popular culture or (3) gender and sexuality.

Required courses Units
AHIS 100 Introduction to Visual Culture 4
COMM 306 The Communication Revolution and the Arts, or
AHIS 250 Modernity and Difference: Critical Approaches to Modern Art (Gateway Course) 4

Four courses to be selected from one of the following three tracks:

(1) Photography, Film and the Reproduction of Images
AHIS 373 History of Photography 4
AHIS 469 Critical Approaches to Photography 4
ANTH 263 Exploring Culture Through Film 4
COLT 452 Representation and Cognition in Photography 4
COLT 480 Dada and Surrealism 4
CTCS 392 History of the American Film, 1925–1950 4
CTCS 393 History of the American Film, 1946–1975 4
CTCS 394 History of the American Film, 1977–Present 4
CTCS 400 Non-fiction Film and Television 4
ENGL 471 Literary Genres and Film 4
ENGL 481 Narrative Forms in Literature and Film 4
FAIN 310 Digital Photo Studio 4
FAPH 309a* Advanced Photography 4
FAPR 311 Printmaking 4
FREN 320 French Cinema and French Society: 1900 to the Present 4
HIST 225 Film, Power, and American History 4
HIST 381 Cinema and History 4
HIST 481 Producing Film Histories 4
PHIL 446 Aesthetics and the Film 4

(2) Popular Culture
AHIS 370 Modern Art III: 1940–present 4
COLT 365 Literature and Popular Culture 4
COMM 384 Interpreting Popular Culture 4
COMM 450 Visual Culture and Communication 4
COMM 455 Advertising and Society 4
COMM 458 Race and Ethnicity in Entertainment and the Arts (prerequisite: COMM 300) 4
CTCS 392 History of the American Film, 1925–1950 4
CTCS 393 History of the American Film, 1946–1975 4
CTCS 394 History of the American Film, 1977–Present 4
CTCS 404 Television Criticism and Theory 4
ENGL 392 Visual and Popular Culture 4
ENGL 471 Literary Genres and Film 4
ENGL 481 Narrative Forms in Literature and Film 4
HIST 380 American Popular Culture 4
PAS 400 New Models of Art in City-Space 4
PHIL 446 Aesthetics and the Film 4

(3) Gender and Sexuality
AHIS 304 Italian Renaissance Art: Old Masters and Old Mistresses 4
AHIS 363 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Art 4
ARCH 442 Women’s Space in History: “Hussies,” “Harems” and “Housewives” 4
COLT 480 Dada and Surrealism 4
COMM 395 Gender, Media and Communication 4
COMM 465 Gender in Media Industries and Products 4
CTCS 192 Race, Class, and Gender in American Film 4
CTCS 412 Gender, Sexuality and Media 4
ENGL 476 Images of Women in Contemporary Culture 4
ENGL 478 Sexual/Textual Diversity 4
HIST 245 Gender and Sexualities in American History 4
SOCI 437 Sexuality and Society 4
Total units required* 24

*32 units if students select FAPH 309a Advanced Photography with 8 units of prerequisites

Interdisciplinary Minor in Early Modern Studies

This minor brings together the resources of the Departments of English, History and Art History to study the literatures and cultures of Europe and the Americas from the late medieval period to 1800. For complete listing of requirements, see the Department of English.