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Class exploring art downtown Grad Rapids.

Art History, B.A.

The study of art history explores how societies and individuals have used the visual arts to convey the ideas and values that were important to them.

Visit the program website for more information.

Students are admitted directly into this program.
Available as a minor.

Program Overview

In addition to studying artists and their work, art historians study the interpretation of visual material and how it changes over time. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

A minor in art history is also available.

Why Study Art History at Grand Valley?

  • Examine the roles of visual media from diverse cultures and historical periods to gain an understanding of context and a global outlook that are necessary in our changing world.
  • Learn in small classes that ensure individualized attention from faculty members at every level of the program.
  • Benefit from a flexible, interdisciplinary curriculum that allows students to pursue a minor or double major while at GVSU.
  • Develop the analytical abilities that are fundamental for the world of work and for engaged citizenship.
  • Acquire the skills of self-advocacy essential for life after graduation.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


The curriculum offers students a broad-based knowledge of the visual arts from a global perspective while learning historical, cultural, and theoretical approaches to works of art. At the intermediate level, majors take specialized courses focusing on a historical period, geographical region, or conceptual theme that allow for in-depth study of a topic.

Combined Degree Programs

Many GVSU undergraduate programs can be combined with an existing master’s degree program to save on tuition and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, you can save $8,500 by pursuing a combined degree and take up to four fewer courses than if earning the degrees separately.

Talk with an advisor about how you can build your combined degree from existing programs to further personalize your education and create your own niche area of expertise.

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to Grand Valley State University who declare an interest in pursuing an art history, film and video production, or photography degree can begin to register for the introductory courses. Visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements.

For More Information

Department of Visual and Media Arts
1105 Alexander Calder Art Center
(616) 331-3486

Admissions and Recruitment Office


“More than just a better understanding of art history, this program has given me excellent researching and writing skills as well as taught me to be more inquisitive and analytical in my everyday endeavors.”