BA in Art (Art History)

Units required for Major: 48

Program Description

The Department of Art at Sacramento State introduces students to the expressive world of the visual arts. A wide variety of approaches based on both Western and Non-Western cultures are integrated into courses that are oriented toward creativity, imagination, and critical thinking. Students are able to explore art through courses in art education, art history, ceramics, metalsmithing/jewelry, new media art, painting, print making, and interdisciplinary sculpture.

The Art History curriculum provides a range of courses in Western and non-Western art, criticism, and visual culture from pre-history to the present and from many perspectives, both formal and contextual. These courses produce visual literacy, multicultural awareness, art historical skills, and an understanding of art-making practices. Studio Art experiences develop the creative and artistic skills necessary for mastery of established styles and for exploration of new ones. They also reward students with an introduction to a lifetime appreciation of the arts. Courses in Art Education provide students with the knowledge and tools necessary to thrive as teachers in both K-12 and community settings. The Art Education program includes instruction in artistic perception; creative expression; historical and cultural foundations in art; aesthetic valuing; connections, relationships, and applications in art; visual art and education theories; and visual culture art education.

Courses, programs, and exhibitions sponsored by the Art Department serve to engage students in the visual arts within a liberal arts context and to promote appreciation of the fine arts in the general student population. Fieldwork experiences can be arranged with the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, and other public and private art institutions and galleries in the Capital region. Opportunities to study art and art history abroad are available through the Office of International Programs and Global Engagement at Sacramento State and the California State University International Program. University credit can be obtained for a semester to a year of study at college and international centers in Britain, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

California State University, Sacramento is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Minimum Grade Requirement

All lower division art history requirements and demonstrated writing proficiency as prescribed by California State University, Sacramento must be completed prior to enrollment in upper division courses. A minimum grade of “C” is required in all courses applied to the Art History concentration. Art History students are required to meet the Sacramento State Foreign Language Requirement by completing the second semester (1B) of a college-level foreign language course with a grade of C- or better (or equivalent foreign language study, as described in the current University catalog). Students who plan to pursue further graduate study in art history are encouraged to learn French, German, or another foreign language through the second semester intermediate level (2B).

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Core Courses (18 Units)
ART 1AArt in the Western World: From Stone Age to End of Middle Ages3
ART 1BArt in the Western World: From Renaissance to Baroque3
ART 1CModern and Contemporary Art: Rococo to the Present3
Select one of the following:3
Traditional Asian Art
Modern and Contemporary Asian Art
Native American Art
ART 20ABeginning Drawing3
Select one lower division course from Photography or Art Studio in a medium other than drawing.3
Required Upper Division Core Courses (21 Units)
HIST 100Introduction to Historical Skills 13
Select one from each of the following four groups plus two additional courses toward a specialization:18
Group 1
Art of thee Ancient Mediterranean
Medieval Art
Renaissance Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
Group 2
Asian Art and Mythology
Art of India and Southeast Asia
Art of China and Japan
Art of Korea
Group 3
Origins of American Indian Art
American Art
Latin American and Latino Art History
California Architecture and Urban History
Group 4
Photography, Inception to Mid-Century
19th Century Art
Modern Art
Contemporary Art
Modern Architecture
Photography, a Social History
Upper Division Electives (3 Units)
Select one elective within the Art Department2 - a regularly scheduled art history course, or any one of the following independent study and supervisory courses:3
Directed Research in Art History 3
Fieldwork 3
Special Problems 3
Art History Seminar (3 Units)
Select one of the following: 43
Topics in Early Modern Art
Topics in Asian Art
Topics in Modern and Contemporary Art
Experimental Offerings in Art 5
Senior Seminar (3 Units)
ART 192BSenior Seminar in Art History 63
Total Units48

This course should be taken in the second semester of the sophomore year or the first semester of the junior year for transfer students. Art History students are strongly advised to take 6 units of lower division Art History coursework and 6 units of lower division History coursework before taking HIST 100.


 With the approval of an Art History advisor


Independent study and supervisory courses in the major are limited to one (no more than 3 units), must be approved by an Art History faculty advisor, and may be applied only to the elective category.


With the approval of an Art History Seminar faculty advisor, students may satisfy the seminar requirement with a seminar in another liberal arts discipline.


ART 196 only may be used when it is an art history seminar taken for 3 units.


Culminating course for students with senior status after completion of all lower division requirements. Prerequisites: completion of two semesters of a foreign language (1B or equivalent), the University's Graduation Writing Assessment requirement, HIST 100, and the art history seminar (item D).