Undergraduate Program Cultural History of the Arts

A Student looking at a wall of art

Cultural History of the Arts Bachelor's Degree and Minor Overview

College of the Arts

Explore the important ways cultural history reflects and shapes society with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in the Cultural History of the Arts. This innovative and flexible degree allows students to study the histories of music and art across cultures and time. By incorporating both musical and art history these connections can be made in deep and nuanced ways. Coursework can be completed on campus, online, or any combination of the two.

This degree requires 60 credit hours total, of which there is a minimum of 20 credits in Music and 20 credits in Art History. Additionally, a minimum of 52 credits (of the overall 60 credit hours) needs to be upper-division courses.

Degree Details

  • BA
    Bachelor of Arts
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
  • BS
    Bachelor of Science
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Cultural History of the Arts Bachelor's Degree: Why PSU?

This degree isn’t offered anywhere else, so it offers a unique opportunity to hone your skills in thinking and communicating about multiple facets of the arts. Portland State University’s location offers endless opportunities to experience Portland’s vibrant creative and cultural scene, we are located just steps from museums, art galleries, and performance spaces. Through our program you'll gain access to the Portland Art Museum’s College Creative License program, offering a reduced-price annual museum pass.

What can you do with a bachelor's degree in Cultural History of the Arts?

A bachelor’s in the cultural history of the arts prepares you for a variety of careers, providing key skills that are useful in both professional and life experiences. While some of our graduates go on to pursue advanced degrees, many choose careers in the arts, non-profit administration, and other business careers that depend on creative thinking and strong communication skills. Because this degree can be readily coupled with other programs, such as the Minor in Business, it opens up a range of options for those interested in careers in cultural management and arts administration.

  • Arts Administration
  • Cultural Specialist
  • Arts Marketing and Public Relations
  • Writer and Editor
  • Nonprofit Administration
  • Cultural Events Planner
  • Volunteer Service Director
  • Teacher/Professor

Featured Courses

  • ARH 106 Introduction to Visual Literacy
  • ARH 206 Art History: The Modern World
  • ARH 329 Islamic Art
  • ARH 337U Nature into Art
  • ARH 355U Medieval Monsters
  • ARH 398 Contemporary Art
  • ARH 432U Issues in Gender and Art



  • DES 290 History of Modern Design
  • MUS 105 Introduction to Music Theory
  • MUS 274 Introduction to World Music
  • MUS 356U Jazz and American Culture: How History Shaped Our Music, Then and Now
  • MUS 361U/362U History of Rock Music I/II
  • MUS 369U Music and Social Change
  • MUS 374U World Music: Africa and the Middle East
  • MUS 376U American Musical Traditions

Accreditation & Ranking

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).