What will I learn?

The Art History major at the University of Maine prepares students for our media-rich and symbolic world by emphasizing the analysis and critique of visual culture. The major opens up opportunities for graduate study in the field and prepares students for careers in related fields as well, including anthropology, communications, museum studies, gallery work, arts administration, arts journalism, filmmaking, and studio art.

The Department of Art offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. Students begin the program with two introductory courses that survey historically significant objects and monuments – including paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, pottery, photographs, film and video, and architecture – from ancient times to the present. These introductory courses consider the form, content, and meaning of these works in terms of their social, political, economic, philosophical, and cultural contexts. From its foundation courses through its highest-level seminars, Art History at the University of Maine stands out for its emphasis on theory, diverse methodologies, and the epistemology of the discipline.

A strong awareness of the historiography of the field is instilled from the introductory courses onward. The curriculum stresses research by teaching students in the introductory courses the essential value of primary sources and peer-reviewed secondary sources as they work through their studies. Building on this first-year experience, second-year courses focus on how to collaboratively develop important questions, present research in formal writing assignments and oral presentations, and meet the discipline’s professional standards. Upper-level seminars engage students in open discussions of their research as it unfolds, leading to focused research essays. Two upper-level seminars dedicated to the principal underpinnings of the field – art theory and criticism and critical methodologies – engage students in critical thinking about the discipline itself. For their capstone experience, students present a research paper to the public for open commentary, preparing them well for participating in professional conferences.

The program treats Art History within the greater context of visual culture, encouraging students to consider wide classes of objects as valuable windows into culture. In considering the wealth of material culture from any given epoch, students learn how visual language functions as a complement to the written or oral record. The program also emphasizes academic writing skills and interdisciplinary research. In addition to courses in Art History, students take two Studio Art courses to provide insights into the working methods of artists and the creative processes that foster critical thinking and visual literacy. Students must also take two courses in a foreign language to broaden their research capabilities in the field. The major highly recommends that its students enroll in the Honors College. Throughout their course of study, students can expect a very high degree of individual attention.

Career and Graduate Opportunities

With its focus on critical thinking in verbal and nonverbal forms, the Art History Program prepares students for many career options, in addition to continued study at the graduate level. The major prepares students for careers in museums (curator, registrar, educator), art galleries, arts administration, antiquities, communications, historic preservation, art conservation, teaching, arts libraries and arts criticism. Many of our students go on to work in galleries and museums. The rigorous academic training of the program also has prepared several students for admission to law school.

Which department am I in?

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
US$30,030.00 per year
Application deadline

Expected November 2022

Start date

18 January 2022


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

5774 Stevens Hall, Room 100,



04469, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have completed secondary/high school or university work.

For international students

Students must have completed secondary/high school or university work. Entry requirements may vary from country to country.

All applicants must request that an official English language proficiency exam score is submitted to UMaine by the testing agency:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - minimum score of 79 (IBT) or 550 (paper-based test).

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - minimum score of 6.5.

PTE (Pearson Test of English) - minimum score of 53.

CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) - completed level C1 Advanced (Certificate of Advanced English).

Waived language tests if:

Native speaker of English (e.g., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, U.K.); SAT Verbal score is 550 or higher; ACT English score is 24 or higher; high school transcript clearly states that English is the language of instruction of all subjects; student studying in the U.S. or Canada for two or more years and not in an ESL track; student has successfully passed an English Composition course at a U.S. higher education institution with a grade of C or higher, even if student has not studied in the U.S. for two or more years; successfully passed the English placement test at UMaine’s Intensive English Institute.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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