Art History Degree Options

We have a range of options so you can choose the degree path that is tailored to your
academic and professional goals. Three art history major tracks allow you to focus on
liberal arts, design, or art practices.

Critical Analysis Track

The critical analysis track is especially suited to preparation for a career that involves research and writing, such as museum work, art criticism, or teaching art history, and is focused on cultivating the ability to think critically and creatively about visual as well as textual resources. This option requires two seminars (small research and writing focused classes) instead of the one needed for other two art history degree tracks.

Art Practices Track

The art practices track pairs art history with training in art practice, giving the chance to develop creativity and skill in both art-making and the historical and critical analysis of art in its many forms. This path is intended for students entering professions that work directly with art objects, such as in art galleries or conservation.

Graphic Design Track

The design track allows students with training in graphic design a chance to leverage those skills in a career that also requires the ability to write persuasively and use research resourcefully and creatively.


Each track begins with the lower-division History of Western Art sequence and studio or design coursework, and advances to upper-division art history lectures and seminars comprising both Western and non-Western traditions.


The School of Art and Design also offers an art history minor that can be paired with any other Portland State major.

Art History Degree Requirements
Art History Minor Requirements
Art History Honors Option