Loyola University Chicago

Fine Arts

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Major in Art History

Our increasingly image-rich culture makes the study and thoughtful interpretation of the visual arts central to a liberal arts education today. The art history program at Loyola University Chicago offers courses that encompass topics and periods ranging from the arts of the ancient world to those of Asia, Africa, early modern Europe, and contemporary art.

The art history major is designed to ensure that students are well versed in both the historical and critical facets of the field through a sequence of courses that explores art objects from a variety of cultures across time. Courses emphasize visual, verbal, writing, and critical thinking skills, giving students the tools to form persuasive arguments based on evidence found in tangible objects, original documents, and scholarly literature.

The skills developed in the art history program prepare students for graduate programs and for a broad variety of careers. For more information about careers in the field, please consult this page

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of human creativity and the role of the visual arts as a mode of visual communication in a global context

  • Employ the elements of visual language and artistic terminology to critically analyze and interpret objects of art, architecture, and visual culture

  • Demonstrate general knowledge and understanding of Western and non-Western art traditions across historical periods in terms of major monuments, artists, ideas, formal expression, themes, techniques, iconography, and functions of art in relation to their cultural, social, religious, and historical contexts

  • Demonstrate depth of knowledge and understanding of specific historical periods or civilizations in the history of art

  • Demonstrate an understanding of visual culture as it relates to issues of gender, class, race, religion

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and an ability to apply art historical methodologies, criticism, and theory in art history research

  • Demonstrate skills in critical thinking, conceptualization of self-developed projects, scholarly research techniques, and written and oral communication

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of art history