Art History Major

Study the world's visual heritage through social, cultural and intellectual history.

Art history is an interdisciplinary program, which means you'll discover how art impacts human culture. You may go on to graduate school in art history, law and medicine. You may also consider a career in museums, galleries, or art business.

Why study art history at the College of Charleston? 

The College of Charleston's art history program is one of the largest independent programs in the Southeast. Our emphasis on hands-on learning will enhance your studies. Take part in our study abroad programs and see art, architecture and urban environments from around the world. You'll develop research skills and learn how to express your ideas through writing and speaking - all skills required for any career.

What will I learn?

Art history is the study of how and why people create art. You will learn the visual language of cultures, from Ancient Egypt to Renaissance Italy to Medieval Europe to the contemporary. We emphasize skills in visual and historical analysis. You'll learn to conduct research and express your ideas in oral as well as written presentations. These skills will prepare you for any future career.

View Curriculum: Art History

Program Highlights

We offer courses covering all major areas of the globe and encourage you to widen your experiences through study abroad and internships. We offer you the global experience and practical skills you need to meet your personal and professional goals.
  • Hands-On Learning

    Several faculty members specialize in the materials of art making, allowing students the opportunity to work with historical and cultural methods of art production. Our faculty regularly offer courses on building materials, pathology and restoration practices. We also encourage you to approach any faculty member about collaborating on research or working on a special project.

    Study Abroad 

    Our faculty offer study abroad opportunities over spring break and summer terms. We accept study abroad credits earned through outside institutions approved by the Center for International Education.

    Senior Project 

    You will work under the mentoriship of a faculty member to prepare an individual research. The project is an advanced application of your research and writing skills on a selected topic in the area of art and architectural history.

  • Internship Opportunities

    Most art history majors gain hands-on experience working in Charleston’s many museums and galleries, including:

    • the Gibbes Museum of Art.
    • Redux Contemporary Art Center.
    • the Halsey Institute of Contemporary art.
    • the Charleston Museum.

    We help you connect with the right internship for you. We also help with internship opportunities outside of Charleston in the nation’s many arts and cultural institutions.

  • Location

    Charleston is a center of art and architecture. Here, you'll be surrounded by unique historic architecture and numerous museums, historic homes and other arts organizations. Charleston is one of the most artistic and cultured cities of the South, with a long and complex history that makes it unique.

Careers & Outcomes

Consider working in galleries and museums, or something outside of the art world such as medicine. Some of our alumni have secured jobs in unexpected fileds like public health, law and tech.

Several of our students have gone on to study art business at institutions such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Others have chosen to continue in graduate programs in art history and teach on the university level.

Our recent alumni have secured prestigious jobs as: 

  • collections cataloger at Princeton University Art Museum.
  • pre-sale coordinator, Silver & Ceramics, Sotheby’s Auction House.
  • cataloger impressionist & Modern Art, Christie’s New York.
  • assistant at Waring Historical Library and MUSC University Archives.
  • marketing manager, Portland Museum of Art.
  • senior associate, Athena Art Finance Corporation.

About the Minor

We live in an image-saturated world. This makes art history a perfect minor for most majors. No matter which career you choose, you'll benefit from learning critical thinking, research and writing skills. All while studying why art makes such an impact on our culture and socieity. 

View Curriculum: Art History Minor