History of Art

As a history of art major, you’ll be able to study areas traditionally central to the discipline such as ancient, medieval and Renaissance art, and the integration of recent fields of theory and research to the study of global visual culture. You can explore the history of cultural interactions as manifested in visual culture both inside and outside the West from antiquity to the present, furthering your understanding of the discipline of art history, its roots, its methodologies, as well as its historical and critical connections with other disciplines.


Want to start right away? Here are some basic requirements for students wanting to major in history of art. Keep in mind this isn’t the complete list of formal requirement — that list can be found on the Courses of Study page.

The major in the history of art requires 40 credits, 26 of which must be at the 3000-level or above.

For admission into the major, students need to take ARTH 1100 - Art Histories: An Introduction or complete a 3900-level tutorial.

The major requires:

  • At least one 2000-level introductory class
  • At least one 3000-level lecture class
  • VISST 2000 - Introduction to Visual Studies
  • ARTH 3101 - Proseminar
  • Two other seminars at the 4000-level or above

Sample classes

  • The Museum and the Object
  • The Art Market
  • Material Worlds: Trade and the Arts of Asia


All information below is based on the 2014-2018 First-Destination Post-Graduate Survey. Lists are not exhaustive; rather, they are a sampling of the data. "Other" includes time off, travel, volunteer experiences, and/or preparing for graduate school. If you would like more information, please email as_careers@cornell.edu

More than 4/5 of 2014-2018 History of Art graduates reported being Employed or Attending Graduate School, with the majority being Employed.

59% of the Class of 2014-2018 History of Art graduates completed the survey. n = 32

Below, you will find:

  • Top Employment Sectors
  • Where Graduates Work
  • Top Graduate Fields
  • Where Graduates Study

Top Employment Sectors

  • Business - Other
  • Communications/Media
  • Law
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Consulting/Prof Practice
  • Retail
  • Technology

Where 2014-2018 History of Art Graduates Work

Employer Job Titles
Allegiant Competition Analyst
Amherst College Assistant Museum Educator
ARTtwo50 Director of Creative Marketing
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP Project Assistant
Bulletin Brand Experience Leader
City Year Corps Member
Emanuel Di Donna Gallery Assistant
Hauser & Wirth Gallery Assistant
Administrative Intern
Marian Goodman Gallery Gallery Assistant
Miller Mayer LLP Immigration Legal Assistant
Onishi Gallery Gallery Assistant
Perez Art Museum Miami Education Assistant
Peter Freeman, Inc.  Gallery Assistant
Richard Avedon Foundation Sales Outreach
Sotheby's Trainee
Graduate Trainee
The Atlantic Ad Op Trafficker
Untitled Entertainment Intern

Top Graduate Fields Pursued

  • History of Art
  • Arts Administration
  • Law
  • Comparative Literature
  • Public Health

Graduate Degrees Pursued

  • MA
  • MPH
  • JD

Where 2014-2018 History of Art Graduates Study

  • Columbia University
  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • George Washington University
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • SOAS University of London
  • Yeshiva University