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Art History, Criticism and Conservation


Insider Info

What to Expect

Many art history students will tell you that the small class sizes are a big bonus in this program.

"The best part of the program is being part of a community of students and professors that keep you connected to the latest scholarships and provide support and encouragement," says Acacia Warwick. She took her PhD in art history at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Rhianna Morris was also drawn to the program by the small class size.

"This gave me the chance to get to know both my professors and fellow students very well," she says, "which I really enjoyed. There have also been new additions to the teaching staff in recent years that have really expanded the choice and type of courses offered."

Warwick chose to study art history because of a teacher she had in high school.

"She demonstrated an enthusiasm for her subject that was infectious, and showed that art history wasn't just the detailed examination of great masterpieces, but a key to understanding the cultures and histories of humanity," she says.

Morris says English and history classes helped her the most once she was in an art history program. She says she never took art history classes in high school. But that didn't hinder her.

"Art history requires both good memory -- all those names and dates -- and good writing skills," she says.

How to Prepare

Warwick says that advanced placement (AP) classes -- available at most high schools in the U.S. -- are a great way to start.

"Passing the AP exam will put students ahead of their peers as college freshmen and give them a solid grounding in the basic survey of art history," she says.

She says students should begin to study languages as soon as possible. For graduate studies, where many art history students end up, reading fluency in French and German are often required.

History and literature are also good classes to focus on, she says. They help students become good writers and develop good analytical skills.

"Good writing is vital to anyone pursuing studies in the humanities, because writing is basically what we do," she says.


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