Jun 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art History Pathway Guide

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

Preparation for Transfer as an Art History Major

The following sequences are suggested courses to take in your semesters prior to transferring to SMU as an art history major.  For students attending a Texas public community college or university, Texas Common Course Numbers (TCCNS) are listed.  If you are transferring from a college or university outside of Texas, click on the SMU course for a course description which may be used to select/compare courses at your current institution.

UC listings refer to SMU’s University Curriculum, which all undergraduates are required to complete. Refer to the University Curriculum Transfer Guide for a list of courses satisfying UC components. Interactive equivalency guides organized by transfer institution are available on the Transfer and Transition Services’ website.

Save all of your course syllabi!

B.A. in Art History

Semester I

Semester II

Semester IV


*Art history majors MUST complete the Intermediate level in a single second language. The second language requirement may be satisfied by (1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, (2) placing out of four terms of a world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or (3) being literate in a native language other than English.

**Many art history majors use free elective hours to complete minors or second majors in fields such as anthropology, chemistry (for conservation), English, history, international business, international studies, world languages and psychology.

Start A Movement

Welcome to the Meadows School of the Arts!  We’re excited that you’re interested in transferring to SMU and majoring in art history.  Established in 1969, the Meadows School is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States.  We offer degrees in advertising, art, art history, arts entrepreneurship and arts management, corporate communication and public affairs, creative computation, dance, film and media arts, journalism, music, and theatre. Meadows is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art, entrepreneurship and change. 

The Dallas Advantage

SMU is located in Dallas, home of the largest arts district in the nation. This means SMU art history students can take full advantage of the many world-class museums and collections only five miles from campus. On campus, the award-winning Meadows Museum houses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, with works dating from the 10th to the 21st century.

SMU provides a wealth of research resources and information in its multiple libraries and special collections, including a digital collection of over 60,000 images; 275,000 slides of art and architecture from pre-historic to contemporary times; 9,000 film prints; 3,000 videotapes; 1,000 incunabula; 120,000 rare books; 700,000 photographs; and much more.

To read more about SMU’s art history resources, click here.

The Art History Program

Students work closely with faculty in small class settings as they learn about the relationship of art to fields such as anthropology, sociology, music, dance, literature, science and engineering. Students study buildings, monuments, paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs, as well as maps, jewelry, fashion, movies, advertising and digital media. SMU is one of only two universities in the United States with fully developed curriculum on South and Central American art.

Meadows art history professors closely mentor their students, offering help and guidance all along the way. Faculty’s connections with art institutions in the U.S., Mexico, South America and Europe help with networking and internships.

Off-campus opportunities include semesters in Italy at an archaeological dig; May and summer term courses on the SMU Taos campus; working alongside Hispanic cultural preservationists in Dallas; on-site seminars in Dallas; abroad programs; and more.

The Major in Art History  requires 36 credit hours within the department to include Foundation Courses; Temporalities/Global Perspective Courses; Methods and Theories Courses; and electives. One three-hour Studio Art course is also required. Additionally, art history majors must complete the intermediate level in a single foreign language.

The Art History Honors program is available to majors with exceptional academic records who seek a greater intellectual challenge.  

The Minor in Art History  consists of 18 credit hours and enables all students in the University to extend their study into the realm of the visual arts.  

The Art History Department  also offers a master’s and a Ph.D. in art history. Learn more on the Meadows website.

Majoring in Art History

The B.A. in Art History  trains students to negotiate a world saturated with images. It challenges students to confront the issues posed by the visual culture that mediates their understanding of the past, present and future. Built on the fertile exchange between the arts and the humanities, art history at SMU subscribes to an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to learning. Students are taught to think across current categories and boundaries, and practice a socially responsible art history.

In addition to developing acute visual sensibilities, students acquire the ability to evaluate and organize information, conduct scholarly research and articulate their ideas in both written and spoken language. Students completing this course of study are prepared for advanced training in the field of art history; museum and gallery professions; or work in a broad range of other fields, including publishing, arts administration, teaching and public policy.


Our students have held internships at institutions such as the Dallas Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, Nasher Sculpture Center, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth Modern, Metropolitan Museum, Smithsonian, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, and major auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Meadows art history majors can also participate in the William B. Jordan internship program at SMU’s own Meadows Museum, one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. Additional on-campus internships also include the Bywaters Special Collections at the Jake and Nancy Hamon Library; the DeGolyer Special Collections at the DeGolyer Library; and the Lady Tennyson d’Eyncourt Visual Resources Library, also located in the Hamon Arts Library. To read more about potential art history internships, click here.


Meadows art history majors, M.A.s and Ph.D.s go on to continue their studies in advanced graduate programs (several as Fulbright Scholars) and into paid positions at museums, galleries and in the private sector. Recent alumni can be found at organizations including the Getty Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, Aspen Music Festival, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.  Read more about our illustrious alumni by clicking here.

Preparing for a Smooth Transition

Transfer students who take time to prepare for their transition to Meadows are some of the most successful students. Following are a few important points to remember:

  • The second language requirement of the University Curriculum  may be satisfied by 1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, 2) placing out of four terms of world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or 3) being literate in a native language other than English.
  • SMU accepts AP scores of 4 or 5.
  • Work on the University Curriculum  prior to transfer is highly encouraged.
  • Compare Course Descriptions   found in SMU’s University Catalog to course descriptions at your current institution to maximize your awarded transfer credits.
  • For additional information on the art history major, visit the department homepage.
  • For more information about transferring to SMU, click here or call 214-768-3417.

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 122 hours, 60 of which must be completed through SMU. Components of the degree include:

  • Courses in your major.
  • Courses required for the University Curriculum (UC) .  
  • Elective courses.  These electives may be used to add a second major or minor.

The University Curriculum (UC)

The University Curriculum is required of all undergraduate students and consists of three main components: 

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Discernment and Discourse courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Foundation courses, 2 hours of Personal Responsibility and Wellness courses, proficiency in a second language and 3 hours of a Ways of Knowing course (offered only at SMU)
  2. Breadth and Depth - 7 Breadth and 3 Depth courses which may double count with majors and minors
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 6 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through Breadth and Depth coursework or approved, noncredit activities.

Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.