Art History


A more detailed description of the program, faculty, facilities, academic, and co-curricular opportunities can be found at the Art History website


There is no minimum grade requirement in the major, but students must have a cumulative 2.0 in order to graduate with a degree in art history.

Major Experience

Many students take the opportunity to gain practical experience in an art institution through the Museum Internship course. Art history majors and minors have interned at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Darwin Martin House, the Roycroft Campus, the Buffalo Central Terminal Restoration Corporation, Hallwalls, the Castellani Art Museum, CEPA, WNYBAC, and Big Orbit Gallery.

Additional Course Considerations

All art history students are strongly encouraged to take courses in a foreign language since jobs and graduate programs in the field often require some familiarity with languages. Students interested in studying abroad are strongly encouraged to pursue two years of foreign language study in advance of their time abroad.


All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Major advisors are normally assigned in the sophomore year, but may be requested in the freshman year to supplement a student's freshman advisor (their GRIF 101 facilitator). Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Dual Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a dual major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a dual major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some dual major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a dual major, the student must complete the appropriate dual major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean.


Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. The minors page provides a complete list of minors and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.

General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum.

Free Electives

Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.

Major Requirements

FAH 101Cave Paintings, the Colosseum & Cathedrals3
FAH 102Altarpieces, Academies & the Avant-Garde3
Ancient and/or medieval art: one course3
Renaissance and/or Baroque art: one course3
Art since 1800: one course3
Non-Western or non-period based topic: one course3
One 300-level art history course3
FAH 450Senior Seminar3
Total Credits24

Major Electives

In addition to the above, majors complete four art history courses as electives (12 credits); dual majors complete two art history electives (6 credits). In addition to FAH courses, the following may be used as electives:

COM 374Film History3
COM 375Film Classics3
COM 376Film Genres3
COM 479World Cinema3
FAS 110Two-Dimensional Design3
FAS 120Drawing I3
FAS 130Three-Dimensional Design3
FAS 150Color3
PHI 291Philosophy of Art3
RST 314New Testament in Literature and Art3

Other studio art courses will be considered upon approval of the department chair and the course instructor. A student may apply a maximum of two of these extra-departmental courses as electives to the art history major, one course if the student has a second major.

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements

FAH 101FAH 102
Course in Renaissance and/or Baroque artCourse in ancient and/or medieval art
Art history electiveArt history elective
Non-Western or non-period based art history course1Course in art since 18001
Museum Internship or art history electiveArt history elective
300-level art history course1Senior Seminar1

300-level art history courses and Senior Seminar are offered infrequently. Students therefore might need to take these courses in their junior year and take their non-Western or non-period based art history course and a course in art since 1800 in their senior year.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Student Learning Goal 1

Art History Majors will develop and refine the skills needed to understand and analyze works of art. 

Students will:
  • Objective A: Describe and interpret works of art using terminology specific to the field and to carry out an analysis of a work of art;
  • Objective B: Find and analyze information on works of art, artists, periods, and art historical topics using written materials and databases specific to the field;
  • Objective C: Communicate orally in the conventions appropriate to the field;
  • Objective D: Communicate in writing in the conventions appropriate to the field.

Student Learning Goal 2

Art History Majors will understand how works of art are embedded in and reflective of specific cultural-historical contexts. 

Students will:
  • Objective A: Locate works of art within larger historical contexts;
  • Objective B: Articulate the interrelationships between art and a range of cultures;
  • Objective C: Analyze the importance of the visual arts in societies past and present.

Art History Minor

The minor in art history requires six courses, some of which may also fulfill requirements in the core curriculum or the student’s major.

Requirements for the Art History Minor

FAH 101Cave Paintings, the Colosseum & Cathedrals3
FAH 102Altarpieces, Academies & the Avant-Garde3
Ancient and/or medieval art: one course3
Renaissance and/or Baroque art: one course3
Art since 1800: one course3
FAH 450Senior Seminar3
Total Credits18