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Art History, B.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
Harrisonburg, VA, United States
The Art History program at James Madison University offers all students the opportunity to study the history of the visual arts in their cultural and social context. Courses in Western art (Western Europe and America) from Ancient to Modern times, as well as African Art and other selected non-Western fields, are regularly given. 
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Students will become familiar with art history theory, methods of analysis and art criticism. In addition, they will gain valuable experience in writing and researching in the field of art history. It is also the mission of the art history program to educate students with a global perspective.

Art History majors and minors are encouraged to participate in summer internship experiences in museums, historic houses, and galleries, and to take advantage of the year-round JMU Studies Abroad programs. The art history program advocates interdisciplinary study in other humanistic disciplines and actively supports students who double major with other related fields. JMU art history faculty possess expertise in a wide variety of historical areas and enjoy working with students on independent studies, honors theses or exhibition projects.


The Bachelor of Arts in Art History offered by James Madison University is intended for students who wish to study the history of the visual arts, including the cultural and social context in which they were created. It is the mission of the Art History program to educate students with a global perspective on the arts. European and American art history is emphasized, coupled with opportunities to study selected areas of African, Asian and Meso- American Arts. Students majoring in art history develop a general knowledge of the principal monuments and artists of all major art periods.

What can I do with an Art History degree?

A degree in art history provides you with a diverse range of career opportunities.

Recent alumni have taken jobs at outstanding national museums including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Other graduates work in private galleries, historic homes, and auction houses. Some teach at universities, both here and abroad, or act as corporate art consultants.

Alumni have pursued graduate study in art history at high-ranking programs including Bard Institute of Decorative Arts, Cambridge University (England), Emory University, Georgetown University, Goldsmith's College (Univ. of London), Syracuse University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Texas at Austin, University of South Carolina, University of Virginia, University of Florida, and Yale University.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Survey of World Art I: Prehistoric to Renaissance 
  • Survey of World Art II: Renaissance to Modern 
  • Art History Seminar 
  • Art History Research Portfolio 
  • African Art: Sub-Saharan 
  • Topics in Non-Western Art and Architecture 
  • Modern and Contemporary African Art 
  • Topics in African Art 
  • Arts of Ancient Egypt 
  • Advanced Topics in Non-Western Art 
  • Art of the Americas 

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 2.5

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 2.5 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • Successful completion of the equivalent of a US secondary education
  • Minimal 2.5 GPA (Grade Point Average) - equivalent to 80% or a 'B-' average
  • Diploma or certification of graduation from High School in your home country
  • Undergraduate applicants who intend to major in theater, dance, music and studio art must also submit a portfolio and/or arrange an audition.

Studyportals Tip: Students should consider taking one of the Pre-Bachelor's below. these courses will be necessary if:

  • You are considered ineligible for admission
  • You need to improve your academic, study, research or language skills
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Tuition Fee

  • International

    24150 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 24150 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    24150 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 24150 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • In-State

    7250 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7250 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Harrisonburg

  • 1050 - 1720 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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