May 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art History and Visual Culture, BA

The Art History and Visual Culture major, offered by the Department of Art and Art History , enriches the lives of its students by providing an in-depth knowledge of cultural traditions and creative accomplishment, and by providing the skills necessary for applying that knowledge in the service of our multicultural society. Course offerings include a wide range of themes and topics in Modern, Contemporary, Classical, Renaissance, Islamic, and Nineteenth Century art, architecture, and design. Examination of these diverse areas encourages students to become responsible citizens through an understanding of the aesthetic, cultural, and ethical choices inherent in human development. Students in this program acquire the communication skills, research techniques, and methods of critical inquiry that have become a vital part of modern life. 

Summary of Degree Units

University Graduation Requirements 35
Major Preparation 15-17
Major Core Requirements 18
Major Electives 30
University Electives 20-22
Total 120

Program Roadmaps

The 4-Year Roadmap is available online. Roadmaps should be used in consultation with the catalog and your advisor to identify additional requirements for completing the major (for example, course grade minimums). Associate Degrees (ADT) Pathways are also available online.

University Requirements

Students must satisfy all of the major and Undergraduate University Graduation Requirements , which includes unit, GPA, and residency requirements as well as the below identified General Education , American Institutions, Graduation Writing Assessment, and Physical Education requirements. Courses that meet Undergraduate University Graduation Requirements are noted with an area designation (see Course Abbreviations ).

Core Lower Division General Education (27 units)

Of the 39 units required by the university, 12 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Courses that meet GE Areas A1, A2, A3, B4, or F must be passed with a “C-” or better to meet the requirement. Consult with a major advisor for details.

Note: Students who have completed the ADT Transfer degree (under SB 1440) for this major will have completed all lower division GE requirements and should follow the 60 unit guarantee roadmap. Meet with an advisor prior to registering for your first semester for the 60 unit roadmap or specific questions.

Upper Division General Education

Of the 9 units required by the university, 9 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Consult with major advisor for details.

American Institutions (6 units)

Complete one 6-unit sequence of American Institutions (US123) courses, which also satisfies GE Area D. Students may also satisfy the American Institutions Requirement  with other courses, but these may not satisfy other GE areas.

The American Studies sequence (AMS 1A /AMS 1B ; 12 units) or Humanities Honors course (HUM 2B ; 6 units) satisfies the American Institutions Requirement and additional GE Areas (see course descriptions for details).

Consult with a major advisor to select the appropriate sequence.

Physical Education (2 units)

All SJSU undergraduate students, regardless of major, have an opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in physical activities. To accommodate students’ needs and interests, the university offers a diverse selection of activity courses .

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

At SJSU, students must pass a Writing in the Disciplines (100W) course with a  grade of C or better (C- not accepted) to meet graduation requirements. For this major, the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)  is satisfied by a course in the major.

Major Preparation (15-17 units)

Area S Arts (3 units)

Complete one course from:

World Language/Art Foundation (6-8 units)

Complete 2 world language or 2 art foundation courses:

Major Requirements (48 units)

Core Requirements - General Art History (6 units)

Complete two courses from lower division Art History Survey:

Art History Methods (3 units)

Complete one course from:

Global Art Area V (3 units)

Complete one course from:

Critical Periods in Western Art (3 units)

Complete one course from:

Major Electives (30 units)

Complete 30 units from the coursework below. One course may be art studio. A minimum of one course from each of the following three groups, with a minimum of 3 additional courses selected from one of the groups.

Capstone (3 units)

Complete one course from:

University Electives (20-22 units)

Total Units Required (120 units)