Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 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.

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

Save all of your course syllabi!

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 Common 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 Common 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.

B.A. in Art History

SCHs = Semester Credit Hours

First Year

WRTR 10XX - First Year Writing I     ENGL 1301 3
ARHS 1303 - Introduction to Western Art I   ART 1303 3
CC Math Course Choose One: MATH 1324, MATH 1332, MATH 1325, MATH 1425, MATH 2413, MATH 2320, MATH 1342, BUSN 2305 3
CC Breadth Course - Creativity and Aesthetics Choose One: ARTS 1301, ARTS 1316, ARTS 2316 , ARTS 2326, ARTS 2333, ARTS 2346, ARTS 2356, DRAM 1351, HUMA 1315, MUSI 1306 3
World Language Course* 4
  SCHs 16
Spring TCCN SCHs
WRTR 10YY - First Year Writing II ENGL 1302 3
ARHS 1304 - Introduction to Western Art II   ART 1304 3
CC Breadth Course - Social and Behavioral Sciences Choose One: ANTH 2351, GOVT 2305, GOVT 2371, PSYC 2301, PSYC 2314, PSYC 2319, SOCI 1301 3
World Language Course* 4
Second major, minor or elective course   3
  SCHs 16

Second Year

Studio Art Course   3
CC Breadth Course - Literary Analysis and Interpretation Choose One: ENGL 2321, ENGL 2322, ENGL 2323, ENGL 2326, ENGL 2327, ENGL 2328, ENGL 2331, ENGL 2332, ENGL 2333 3
CC Breadth Course - Exploring Science Choose One: BIOL 1406, BIOL 1407, BIOL 1408, BIOL 1411, BIOL 2401, BIOL 2402, CHEM 1405, CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, ENVR 1401, ENVR 1402, GEOL 1401, GEOL 1403, GEOL 1405, GEOL 1445, PHYS 1401, PHYS 1402, PHYS 1403, PHYS 1405, PHYS 1404, PHYS 1407, PHYS 1415, PHYS 1417, PHYS 2425, PHYS 2426 4
Second major, minor or elective courses 6
  SCHs 16
Spring TCCN SCHs
SPCH 10XX SPCH 1315 3
CC Breadth Course - Philosophical, Religious and Ethical Inquiry Choose One: PHIL 1301, PHIL 1304, PHIL 2303, PHIL 2306 3
CC Breadth Course - Technological Advances and Society Choose One: COSC 1301/1401, BCIS 1305, COSC 1309 3
Second major, minor or elective courses 6
  SCHs 16


*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.

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 120 hours, 60 of which must be completed through SMU. Components of the degree include:

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

The Common Curriculum (CC)

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

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Writing courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Reasoning courses, proficiency in a second language. 
  2. Breadth - 7 Breadth courses which may double count with majors and minors.
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 8 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through coursework or approved, noncredit activities.

NOTE: If you transfer with 23 or fewer credit hours and/or transfer in your first year out of high school, transfer work earned prior to high school graduation (dual/concurrent credit) will not satisfy CC requirements.

Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.