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About Art History

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Welcome to Art History at Florida State University. Our students investigate humanity’s relationship to the world: how we perceive, participate in, and represent our physical, social, religious, philosophical, political, and artistic environments. Our faculty teach in a range of fields including Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, Modern American and European, and Pre-Columbian and Colonial art and architectural history. With intense training in interpretation, critical thinking, and communication, our graduates are highly valued by programs in law, medicine, museums, education, business, non-profits, entertainment, and politics.

Our opportunities extend far beyond the classroom. Through an expansive international studies program, students may gain firsthand experience of art in London, Florence and Paris, among other world cities. They can pursue training in Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies, taking advantage of rich collections and facilities at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts and The Ringling in Sarasota as well as state and local archaeological sites and agencies. A distinguished lecture series brings renowned scholars to share their work with us, and for 35 years we have hosted a Graduate Student Symposium that draws Art History students from around the country. The proceedings are published in our internationally-distributed research journal Athanor.

The Department of Art History, part of the College of Fine Arts, is located in the William Johnston Building, a historic structure built in 1913, enlarged in 1939, and beautifully restored in 2011 with the addition of state-of-the-art facilities, Art Library, and Gallery.

The Undergraduate Program

Our undergraduate program offers a BA in Art History and students are broadly educated in the history of art and introduced to a wide variety of cultures from around the world and throughout history. We provide a rigorous training in visual analysis and encourage our students to hone their skills in critical thinking and writing. A degree in Art History fully prepares any student for graduate school or a career in the arts.

The undergraduate program also offers a BA/MA combined degree in Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies. This combined degree program allows exceptional FSU students to complete both a BA and an MA degree in five years. Students in this program enroll in courses that count toward both degrees during their senior year, and complete their graduate work in the 5th year.

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The Graduate Program

The Department of Art History offers programs leading to the Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in the history and criticism of art. The objective is to prepare the student for a professional career either in academic art history or in one of the related professions, including museums, commercial galleries and publishing.

The Department of Art History also offers a 2-Year MA Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies program. Students interested in cultural heritage careers may work closely with Florida Department of State officials here in the capital city, and those wishing to pursue a museum career may choose The Ringling Track, spending their entire second year of study in Sarasota at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, one of the largest and most prestigious university museums in the country.

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