Courses & Requirements

The requirements below apply to those students with a 2019-2020 catalog year. Students are required by college policy to follow the major (and minor) requirements found in the catalog in effect at the time they declared their first major. To find your catalog year, please visit your Grades and Academic Records found in myOxy and access the catalog that matches your catalog year.

Art and Art History

Overview

The mission of the department of Art and Art History (AAH) is to educate students in the richness and complexity of the visual arts. Making, critiquing, and historicizing visual culture is essential for informed participation and innovation within local and global cultures. Combining the disciplines of Studio Art and Art History, AAH equips students to explore critically the interplay of culture, history, theory, analysis, and art practice.

We offer a broad range of courses in art history and studio arts. Art history offerings include East Asian, European, American, Latinx, and Pacific Rim art,  visual culture, architecture, and photographic histories. Studio classes emphasize the entwined nature of concept and technique with courses in painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation, digital photography, drawing, and book arts. We also offer hybrid courses combining art making with critical histories and theories of photography, feminisms, race, and class, underscoring our commitment to critical inquiry and the College's mission. The curriculum is integrated with the vibrant art scene of Los Angeles (and beyond) through field trips, community based learning, site specific projects, collaboration with area arts organizations and research, and internships opportunities.

Our curriculum prepares students to become professional artists, art historians, and to work in a broad range of image- and culture-oriented fields. Graduates pursue a variety of professional activities including art making and exhibitions in museums and galleries. They perform curatorial work, museum education, and work in libraries, archives, and other non-profit institutions. Students regularly attend graduate programs in fine arts and art history. Our graduates enter a wide range of visual-oriented fields such as architecture, design, imaging in the tech industry, and work at the intersections of art, medicine, and law.

Our program features close personal collaboration between students and faculty, all actively exhibiting, publishing and/or curating professionals. We mentor students in garnering grants for ambitious projects, international research and internships with dynamic arts institutions. Students work closely with their advisors to develop their individual interests and goals, and to plan individual programs of study designed to develop the aesthetic questions, technical skills, and research agendas required for the comprehensive project in the senior year.

 

Major Requirements

Students will choose an emphasis either in Art History or in Studio Art. Each emphasis consists of twelve courses or 48 units, depending on the emphasis, chosen in consultation with the major advisor.

CONCENTRATION IN ART HISTORY

The concentration in Art History consists of three foundation ARTH survey courses (12 units), at least three ARTH courses at the 300-level (12 units), two additional ARTH electives at either the 200- or 300-level (8 units), two ARTH writing seminars (the junior seminar which satisfies the Second Stage Writing Requirement for graduation and four units of senior seminar) (8 units), and two courses for breadth from either ARTS or MAC courses (8 units).

Survey courses

Students must select three courses from the list below:

ARTH 150History of Urban Design

4 units

ARTH 160Introduction to East Asian Art

4 units

ARTH 170Introduction to Early European Art

4 units

ARTH 180Introduction to Later European and American Art

4 units

Upper division

Students must complete three ARTH courses at the 300-level. 

Additional electives

Students must complete two ARTH courses at the 200- or 300-level (or equivalent).

Writing Seminars

To complete the Junior Seminar, Art History majors must complete ARTH 390 (4 units), offered with rotating topics each year. 

To complete the Senior Seminar, Art History majors complete ARTH 490 as two 2-unit courses, or as one 4-unit course.

ARTH 390Seminar in Art History

4 units

ARTH 490Senior Seminar in Art History

2 units

Breadth requirement

Students must complete at least two courses (8 units) in Media Arts & Culture and/or Studio Art. 

In consultation with the major advisor, a student may substitute a course outside the department (such as history, literature, religious studies, politics, or philosophy, preferably related to the topic area of the senior thesis) for one of the art history courses.

CONCENTRATION IN STUDIO ART

The concentration in Studio Art consists of three beginning ARTS courses (12 units), two intermediate ARTS courses at the 200-level (8 units), two advanced ARTS courses at the 300-level (8 units), two ARTH courses (8 units), an additional ARTS or ARTH elective (4 units), a four-unit ARTS writing seminar which satisfies the Second Stage Writing Requirement for graduation, four units each of ARTS junior and senior seminar (8 units).

Beginning courses

ARTS 102Painting Fundamentals

4 units

ARTS 103Sculpture Fundamentals

4 units

ARTS 105Printmaking Fundamentals: Relief and Intaglio

4 units

Intermediate courses

Students must select two courses from the list below:

ARTS 203Intermediate Sculpture

4 units

ARTS 209Photography Against the Grain

4 units

ARTS 210Intermediate Painting

4 units

ARTS 216Lithography

4 units

ARTS 217Photo Processes in Printmaking

4 units

Advanced Projects

Students must select two courses from the list below. At least one of these must be completed prior to the start of the senior year.

ARTS 310Advanced Projects in Painting and Drawing

4 units

ARTS 320Advanced Projects in Interdisciplinary Arts

4 units

ARTS 330Advanced Projects/ Printmaking

4 units

Junior Seminar (4 units)

ARTS 390Art in Los Angeles

4 units

Senior Seminar

ARTS 490Studio Senior Seminar

4 units

Art History (8 units.)

ARTH 180Introduction to Later European and American Art

4 units

ARTH 389Modern and Contemporary Art

4 units

One additional ARTS or MAC elective (4 units.)

 

 

 

Additional Information

The sequencing of courses is crucial: students should take beginning fundamentals and intermediate courses in the Frosh and Sophomore years along with ARTH 180; 300-level courses (ARTH 389 Modern and Contemporary, Advanced Projects) and ARTS390 Junior Seminar in their junior year; and ARTS 490 (Senior Seminar) and any elective studio courses in the senior year. Students may not take a required 100-level course as a senior.  At least one 300-level Advanced Projects course in the area of comprehensive project emphasis must be completed before the start of the senior year. ARTS 101, ARTS 104, ARTS 106, and ARTS 109 may only be taken as electives and do not count as required beginning courses. Because the maturation of creative ability requires time as well as effort, students who may desire a major in studio art should consult with departmental advisors and begin taking studio courses as early as possible in their first year, and should declare a major early in the sophomore year.

Second-Stage Writing Requirement

All students majoring in the Art and Art History department must successfully complete the second-stage writing requirement by completing a 300-level course, with a grade of C or better by the end of the junior year. Students who do not fulfill this requirement must consult with the department chair about available alternatives. This may mean enrolling in WRD 201 (passing with a C or better) or another ARTH course in the fall of the senior year.

Concentration in Art History:

ARTH 390 or other 300-level ARTH course with a grade of C or better by the end of the junior year. 

ARTH 390Seminar in Art History

4 units

Concentration in Studio Arts

Select either ARTS 301 or ARTH 389 with a grade of C or better by the end of the junior year.

ARTS 301Writing Art and Writing As Art

4 units

ARTH 389Modern and Contemporary Art

4 units

Comprehensive Requirement

Consult with the department chair for more information.

College Honors

A student with an overall GPA of at least 3.2 and 3.5 in the major who has demonstrated excellence in departmental courses can submit a proposal for honors. For the Art History emphasis, the proposal is submitted in the spring of junior year, for completion over the course of the senior year. For the Studio Art emphasis, the proposal is submitted in the fall of senior year for completion in the spring of senior year. For further information, consult your faculty adviser on honors requirements and timelines in your particular program.

Minor Requirements

CONCENTRATION IN ART HISTORY

Five art history courses (20 units); at least three must be 200-level courses or above.

CONCENTRATION IN STUDIO ART

Five courses (20 units) in the department including any four studio courses and one art history course. No more than three 100-level courses. Studio courses must be selected from more than one professor.

Transfer Credit Policies

The Art and Art History Department policy on transfer credit conforms to College policy. Students should reference the Transfer Credit section for details.

Information that can be included in this section include:
  • specific policies for majors/minors
  • AP/IB Exam credit - course equivalencies?
  • Online courses
  • Policies specifically for matriculating frosh, transfer students, returning students after a leave of absence
Information that can be included in this section include:
  • specific policies for majors/minors
  • AP/IB Exam credit - course equivalencies?
  • Online courses
  • Policies specifically for matriculating frosh, transfer students, returning students after a leave of absence

Exchange Program with the Art Center

Occidental students may take courses in the Art Center at Night Program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. See the College Catalog section on the Art Center Exchange

 program available only to full-time Oxy students. These classes can count towards general college units for graduation but cannot fulfill Art and Art History major or minor requirements without pre-approval of the AAAH faculty adviser and department chair.

Courses

Art & Art History Courses:

Art History

Studio Art