The Art History curriculum provides a full range of courses in Western and non-Western art, criticism, and visual culture from pre-history to the present and from many perspectives, formal and contextual. Lecture/discussion classes, seminars, independent studies, fieldwork, and studio courses produce college-level visual literacy, multicultural awareness, art historical skills (research, writing, traditional methods, visual analysis and synthesis, critical thinking), and understanding of art making practices. Art History can be studied both as a major and as a minor. The Art History concentration consists of 48 units. After completing six lower division courses in Art History (12 units) and Studio Art (6 units), students take 30 units of upper division coursework. They develop breadth by taking one course in each of the four groups into which the upper division Art History curriculum is divided. They also create a specialization by taking two additional courses in one of the groups. Other upper division coursework includes a class in historical research methods, a topics seminar, and the senior seminar in Art History, taken during the first or second semester of the senior year.
The Art History concentration is ideal for students who seek an interdisciplinary liberal arts education that also develops their visual talents and inspires appreciation for human creativity across time and place. The Art History degree affords a broad education as well as practical preparation for a wide range of future vocations and advanced professional studies. This is especially true for the many careers in the arts, such as artist, designer, architect, teacher, art writer, publicist, agent, consultant, museum curator, gallery director, or public arts administrator. Knowledge of the arts combines well with education in a second area, such as business and law. Students who wish to pursue advanced degrees in Art History after finishing the BA will benefit from the close supervision of a mentor-professor who helps prepare them for graduate studies. Field experience (internships) can be arranged with the Crocker Museum of Art, California State Archives, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, and other public and private art institutions in the Capital region.
Art History courses also meet degree requirements in other concentrations and majors, such as Art Education, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography, and Studio Art. Several upper division Art History courses and all lower division Art History courses fulfill some of the University's General Education requirements, and as a result are often taken by students in other majors.
Sacramento State students who are interested in Art History benefit from many other resources as well. The Art Department and its student clubs (including an Art History club) sponsor exhibitions, lectures, and other public events that bring artists and scholars to campus. Opportunities to study Art History abroad are available through Sacramento State's Office of International Education and Global Engagement as well as through the California State University International Program. University credit can be obtained for a semester to a year of study at colleges and international centers in Great Britain, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.