Art and Design - Undergraduate
Add a new degree-major program
Bachelor of Arts - Art History Major
Summary of the Changes:
The purpose of this proposal is to transition the B.A. in Art – Art History concentration to a stand-alone Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History in the Department of Art and Design at the University of North Florida. This program has been approved by UNF governance, the BOT and the BOG, and it is now undergoing implementation via the APC process. In order to bring Art History in line with national standards and better promote the success of the program’s students and graduates, the B.A. in Art History degree program will reform and update the curriculum and pedagogical structure of UNF’s current Art History program. The B.A. in Art History program will offer a comprehensive curriculum in Art History that emphasizes the history of Western art from antiquity to the present, with particular curricular depth initially in Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Modern, and Contemporary art. The program will also require significant foreign language training. Pedagogically, the program will emphasize students’ acquisition of a versatile and broadly useful set of foreign language, writing, communication, critical thinking, and original research skills. The program will not offer formal tracks or concentrations. The B.A in Art History will require a total of 120 credit hours.
The transition of the Art History program to a stand-alone degree program will enable UNF to maximize the Art History program’s educational impact on its students by revising the shape and intent of the program, which has outgrown its beginnings and curricular structure as a concentration in the B.A. in Art degree program. Under the guidelines of the current program, students are required to take at least 15 and may take as many as 24 hours of fine (studio) arts coursework, rather than the state mandated minimum of 6 hours for B.A. in Art History majors. Under current guidelines, students are required to take only 24 hours of Art History coursework. Although the Art History and Studio Art programs are happy partners in the same the department, their curriculum, pedagogical methods, and vocational outcomes are different. Studio Art represents an applied, creative course of study. Art History is research-centric and theoretical. (These disciplines approach the study of art much in the same way that Music and Physics approach the study of wavelengths). Nationally, it is not typical to require Art History majors to take large course loads in the Studio Arts, nor is it in the interest of our students to do so. The current structure risks producing students whose education is not sufficiently deep in either Art History or Studio Art. Under new guidelines outlined in this proposal, additional Art History courses, foreign language training (which is essential to research in Art History), and electives from complementary disciplines (e.g. History) will replace the bulk of the current Studio course load.
The successful student in the new Art History program will graduate with sophisticated understanding of world cultural history and the arts, with highly developed original research and writing skills, a capacity for critical thought, and proficiency on more than one language. These skills prepare graduates for a wide-range of professional and educational pursuits. The B.A. in Art History naturally prepares students for graduate study in Art History and Museum Studies. The B.A. in Art History prepares undergraduates to enter the workforce in Arts-related vocations, including museum work, commercial art gallery work, teaching, and non-profit and arts funding/arts foundation work, among other fields. Because of the degree’s focus on international cultural literacy, language study, and research and writing, successful graduates in Art History are also well suited to pursue graduate and professional degrees in Law, Business, Education, History, and a variety of international studies and foreign relations fields. Likewise, vocationally, traditional outcomes in non-arts fields for Art History graduates include teaching, public service, national intelligence work, and the Foreign Service.