Art and Architecture History Minor

A group of students seated in a gallery as a professor speaks before a group of paintings
A group of students listen as a professor speaks in front of a silver geometric sculpture

Art history is arguably the most expansive field a student can pursue. It is the study of human civilization across time and culture through the physical things that they make--paintings, sculptures, architecture, graphic and decorative arts, film, performance, and others.

As a discipline, art history considers how these works of art signify ideas, beliefs, practices, and social identities of the groups and individuals that made, viewed, or used them. Students of art history learn how to understand these works of art through research and analysis of aesthetic issues, cultural contexts, and artistic practices. They ultimately acquire specialized expertise in the important roles played by visual media in our own society and that of cultures from around the globe.

Art History Minors at Miami Can:

  • Work with outstanding professors with international reputations for their research in the fields of Classical, Renaissance, Baroque, Asian, African, modern, and contemporary art and architecture history.
  • Study works of art from across cultures in the permanent collection of the fully accredited Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum.
  • Form close mentorships with professors who are passionate about teaching at an institution nationally recognized for its commitment to undergraduate education.
  • Apply for internships at the Miami University Art Museum
  • Prepare for a wide variety of careers that require critical thinking, visual acuity, and excellent communication skills.

Why Study Art History?

Art History Skills

Art History at Miami


The Art and Architecture History major and minor at Miami University prepare students for a wider range of career options than what many might realize. The content of the history of art will be essential knowledge for anyone looking to work in museums, galleries, or cultural institutions; attend graduate school in art history or related fields; and teach art history at the high school and college level. However, the skills acquired through the study of art history are highly desired by a much broader range of employers, whether related to the arts and humanities or not.

Consider the following skills* and how they are honed through the study of art history:

Visual Analysis

Developing tools to assess the function of images in an increasingly visual world

Comparatively analyzing works of art to understand their styles, functions, and artistic value

Recognizing why works of art look the way that they do and how they communicate information

Human Relations

Understanding the functions of created objects from various times and across cultures

Identifying a culture’s values and beliefs by studying the objects created in that culture

Explaining our own contemporary culture by exploring those of others


Gathering, examining, and analyzing evidence in images and primary sources

Assessing information and judging its relevance and importance

Expanding the horizons of knowledge through novel interdisciplinary investigations


Writing and speaking critically about topics related to created objects

Interpreting and organizing complex and often ambiguous information

Developing sound arguments supported by logically ordered evidence

*Adapted from