1. Acquaint students with the principal objects and monuments produced during a particular time and place.
  2. Develop skills to analyze objects and monuments and the vocabulary to articulate what is seen.
  3. Present major art historical trends in the period being studied.
  4. Teach students to do independent scholarly research, develop a bibliography of vetted sources, create a topic statement and outline for a research paper, develop an annotated bibliography, write a sustained expository paper on a focused topic, and fully footnote all sources.

Goals 1, 2 & 3 are addressed in all Art History 100 and 200 level courses and all majors must take a broad distribution of courses by chronology and across the spectrum of the art and architectural media. There are writing components in every art history course and testing includes long narrative essay questions.

Goal 4 is addressed in the Art History 301 Seminar in Art Historical Methodology and is reinforced in a required second seminar beyond Art History 301.

Principal methods for evaluation:

The Research Paper in the Art Historical Methods Seminar (AH 301) is required of all majors. This is the Writing Intensive II component of the major. Evaluation is done of term paper and the seminar instructor shares the evaluation of the individual students in the course with the rest of the department.

Comprehensive examinations are given at the end of the Senior Year. The faculty of the department convenes to assess the performance of the seniors following the Comprehensive Examination. Students may earn honors via the Comprehensive Examination or via an Honors Thesis.​