Cultural History of the Arts: Program Details

Students taking notes while viewing artwork at the Portland Art Museum

This innovative flexible degree allows students to study the histories of music and art across cultures and time. We explore the important ways cultural history both reflects and shapes society, and by incorporating both musical and art history these connections can be made even deeper and more nuanced ways.

You can start taking the classes for the degree beforehand, but Fall 2021 is the earliest you could declare this as a major or graduate with this degree.

This is a degree that can be completed online, in person, or any combination of the two.


The B.A. or B.S. in Cultural History requires 60 credit hours total, of which:

  • Minimum of 20 credit hours in Music
  • Minimum of 20 credit hours in Art History
  • Minimum of 52 credit hours need to be upper-level courses (300-level or higher)

ArH 401 Advanced Research Workshop and additional research-intensive courses such as art history seminars (ArH 407 and ArH 449) are strongly recommended for all students in this program and would be taken as part of the upper-division course requirement.

Coures Offerings

Students should note when planning their coursework that some of the upper-level courses they are considering have prerequisites. Additionally, you will not be able to use any of the cluster courses that could be applied to this major to satisfy the University Studies cluster requirement.

Note that other upper level architectural, art, film, and music history classes offered at PSU might be applied to this degree if you get prior approval from the Cultural History of the Arts program coordinator.

Course Number Course Title Credits
ArH 106 Introduction to Visual Literacy 2
ArH 204 Art History: The Ancient World 4
ArH 205 Art History: The Medieval World 4
ArH 206 Art History: The Modern World 4
ArH 329 Islamic Art: Major Themes and Periods 4
ArH 337U Nature Into Art 4
ArH 355U Medieval Monsters 4
ArH 356U Early Medieval Art and Architecture 4
ArH 357U Byzantine Art and Architecture 4
ArH 358U Romanesque Art 4
ArH 359U Gothic Art and Architecture 4
ArH 360 The Art of War: Representing the Crusades 4
ArH 381U/382U 19th Century Art 4
ArH 383/384/385 Western Art in the 20th Century 4
ArH 392 History and Contemporary Issues in Photography 4
ArH 398 Contemporary Art 4
ArH 401 Advanced Research Workshop 0-12
ArH 415U Issues in Asian Art 4
ArH 426U African Art 4
ArH 431U Women in the Visual Arts 4
ArH 432U Issues in Gender and Art 4
Des 290 History of Modern Design 4
Mus 105 Introduction to Music Theory 3
Mus 203 Music in the Western World 4
Mus 205 Listening I 1
Mus 206 Listening II 1
Mus 231 Survey of Popular Music Since 1950 4
Mus 274 Introduction to World Music 4
Mus 355U Jazz History 4
Mus 356U Jazz and American Culture 4
Mus 360U The Guitar: Its History and Music 4
Mus 361U History of Rock Music I 4
Mus 362U History of Rock Music II 4
Mus 363U Music of the Beatles 4
Mus 365U Film Music 4
Mus 366U New Orleans: Jazz and Culture in the Storyville Era 4
Mus 367U The Music of Nashville: From Honky Tonk to Hip-Hop 4
Mus 368U Mowtown: Detroit's History and Music 4
Mus 369U Music and Social Change 4
Mus 374U World Music: Africa and the Middle East 4
Mus 376U American Traditions: Blues 4
Mus 377U World Music: Latin America and the Caribbean 4