Our Art History & Visual Culture faculty recently redesigned the overall curriculum in order to focus on the needs of students in the 21st century. This new course of study is designed to provide graduates with a broad background in world art in addition to the traditional western canon before they move on to more intensive study of specific periods of time and places. Upper level classes have small enrollments to allow for more interaction with faculty specialists.
Teaching students to conduct research and communicate their ideas in forms that are appropriate to the field is also a major focus of the new curriculum. One of the most rewarding experiences for undergraduate students is individually mentored research. During the final year of study, this research intensive experience occurs in the HA 499 Professional Development seminar. This capstone allows each student to identify a professor with whom they would like to complete an extensive research project. Then, over the course of the entire 15-week fall semester, they work with the mentor to choose a topic, conduct effective research, and complete an article-length paper that can then be used as a writing sample should you wish to pursue study at the graduate level. As part of the course, the research is then presented in a public forum in late fall.
Opportunities for students to engage in meaningful professional development activities provide hands-on experience that will set them apart from their peers. In addition to the focus on research, students are required to complete an internship, fieldwork, or study abroad/away program.