Minor in Art History

The Minor in Art History gives students the opportunity to learn about the visual cultures of the past and present around the globe. The 18-unit degree offers a series of increasingly focused courses—200 level survey courses, more specialized 300 and 400 level lecture courses, and a 500 level Advanced Topics—in which students learn how to analyze and interpret visual art within diverse historical, social, political, and cultural contexts. The program takes advantage of the Bay Area's rich cultural resources, galleries, and museums. It provides students with skills and knowledge that will complement many other disciplines and major fields of study within the University. It enhances students’ career outlook by providing a versatile skill set including strong writing, oral communication, critical thinking and visual literacy, which are in demand in a variety of professions in the media, arts, and culture/service/education industries. Admission to the Minor is open to all students with upper division standing and who have completed the two lower-division required courses (either two lower-division Art History courses or one lower-division Art History and one lower-division Studio Art course) with a minimum grade of C.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain foundational knowledge of art history in more than one time period and geographical area: identify major artists, works, movements; define key terms, concepts, and theories.
  2. Demonstrate skills in critical thinking, formal analysis and visual literacy to interpret and evaluate the meaning of art and visual culture.
  3. Gain verbal expression and oral presentation skills in both informal discussion and formal contexts.
  4. Understand and apply basic art historical methodology and theoretical models.
  5. Understand the ethical dimension of artistic practice and scholarship within a global context and in relationship to the dynamics of power--including those of class, gender, race, and geopolitics--as expressed through visual, spatial, institutional, and ideological practices.

Add the minor online through the Student Center "Add Major" section and meet with an art history advisor for approval. A list of departmental advisors and contact information can be found on the school’s website: https://art.sfsu.edu/advising


Art History Minor – 18 units

A minimum of 6 upper-division units are required to complete the minor.

All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Lower-Division Requirements (6 units)

Art History3
Select one:
Western Art History I
Western Art History II
Asian Art History
Studio Art3
Select one:
Introduction to Digital Media Arts
Introduction to Textile Art
Introduction to Drawing
Introduction to Printmaking
Introduction to Contemporary Sculpture
Introduction to Ceramics
Introduction to the Darkroom

All lower-division requirements for the minor must be satisfied before advancing to courses numbered 300 and above.

Upper-Division Art History Requirements (9 units) 

Select three:

ARTH/LTNS 301Latin American and Latino/a/x Art, 1492 to the Present3
ARTH 306Modern and Contemporary Art in a North American and European Context, 1945-present3
ARTH 401/CLAR 420Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece3
ARTH 402/CLAR 425Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome3
ARTH 403/SXS 405Queer Art History3
ARTH 404/CLAR 550Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean Bronze Age3
ARTH 406Global Renaissance and Baroque Art3
ARTH 407/CLAR 500Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
ARTH 409/CLAR 530Greek Vase Painting3
ARTH 410/CLAR 531Greek Sculpture3
ARTH 411South Asian Art I: Neolithic to Medieval Periods3
ARTH 412South Asian Art II: Early Modern to Contemporary Periods3
ARTH 421Special Topics in Art History3
ARTH/HUM 496Art, Architecture, and Space in the Islamic World3

One upper-division Studio Art course from the list below may be substituted for one 300-400 level Art History course.

ART 310Foundations in Digital Media Art3
ART 330Foundations in Painting3
ART 335Foundations in Printmaking Processes: Drawing the Multiple3
ART 340Foundations in Contemporary Sculpture: Materials & Concepts3
ART 345Foundations in Ceramics3
ART 360Foundations in Photography3
ART 410Conceptual Art After Conceptual Art3
ART 411Interactive Arts3
ART 413Video Art3
ART 422Weaving I: Beginning3
ART 423Constructed Surfaces3
ART 424Surface Design Studio3
ART 431Intermediate Painting3
ART 432Further Explorations in Drawing3
ART 433Figure Drawing3
ART 434Color Workshop3
ART 435Intermediate Printmaking Workshop3
ART 439Screen Printing3
ART 440Sculpture and Expanded Practice3
ART 445Ceramics on the Wheel3
ART 460Intermediate Photography3
ART 511Digital Media and Emerging Technologies: Special Areas3
ART 514Experimental and Expanded Practices in Video Art3
ART 525Textiles Studio Process3
ART 527Repeat Pattern for Fine Art3
ART 530Advanced Topics in Painting: The Expanded Field3
ART 534Mixed Media Painting3
ART 535Artist's Books3
ART 536Advanced Topics in Printmaking3
ART 541Installation Art3
ART 543Hydrarchy: Nautical Art, Watercraft, and the Art of Resistance3
ART 545Ceramic Sculpture3
ART 546Glaze Surfaces3
ART 548Glaze Calculation3
ART 549Special Topics in Ceramics3
ART 555The Multiple and Distributed Art3
ART 556Art and Social Function3
ART 563Advanced Topics in Photography3

500-Level Art History (3 units)

ARTH 516Advanced Topics in Art History3