Undergraduate Program Requirements

On this page: Minor | Major | Honours | Joint Honours

Please note that courses in studio practice cannot be counted toward any of the programs in Art History.

For list of courses given in other departments that may be counted toward programs in Art History, click here


Minor in Art History

The Minor Concentration in Art History provides an introduction to the study of diverse artistic traditions from ancient to contemporary times. It is expandable to the Major Concentration Art History.

The Minor in Art History is expandable and consists of a minimum of 18 credits. Ideally students will take at least one 200-level course before taking any 300-level courses. At least 9 credits must be at the 300 level or above, but a 400-level seminar is not required. Students may take up to 9 credits at the 200 level.

Complementary Courses (18 credits):

3-15 credits from the following list, as an introduction to methods, theories, and practices in diverse fields of the discipline:

ARTH 302 Aspects of Canadian Art (3 credits)
ARTH 305 Methods in Art History (3 credits)
ARTH 315 Indigenous Art and Culture (3 credits)
ARTH 339 Critical Issues - Contemporary Art (3 credits)
ARTH 357 Early Chinese Art (3 credits)

3-15 complementary courses chosen from among departmental course offerings.

Note: Courses in studio practice cannot be counted toward the Major concentration.

Please use the following program requirements guide to help you plan and fulfill your minor in Art History:PDF icon art_history_minor_checklist_2021.pdf


Major in Art History

The Major in Art History consists of at least 36 credits in Art History.

The Major Concentration in Art History concentrates on analysis of forms of visual and material culture from ancient to contemporary times. It provides a grounding in diverse fields and methods of the discipline.

Complementary Courses (36 credits):

3-15 credits from the following list, as an introduction to methods, theories, and practices in diverse fields of the discipline:

ARTH 302 Aspects of Canadian Art (3 credits)
ARTH 305 Methods in Art History (3 credits)
ARTH 315 Indigenous Art and Culture (3 credits)
ARTH 339 Critical Issues - Contemporary Art (3 credits)
ARTH 357 Early Chinese Art (3 credits)

21-33 complementary courses chosen from among departmental course offerings as follows:
- A maximum of 12 credits may be at the 200 level.
- A minimum of 3 credits must be at the 400 level or above (excluding ARTH 490 Museum Internship).

Note: Courses in studio practice cannot be counted toward the Major concentration.

Please use the following program requirements guide to help you plan and fulfill your major in Art History:PDF icon art_history_major_checklist_2021.pdf


Honours in Art History

The Honours Program in Art History consists of 54 credits.

The Honours Art History program provides in-depth training, with emphasis on art historical methods and research, while allowing students flexibility in choosing courses that match their academic needs and interests. It is designed especially for students who anticipate pursuing graduate studies and careers in art history or related disciplines.

Students are encouraged to apply for this program after their first year of study at the University and after completion of no less than 12 credits in Art History. Admission is on a competitive basis. While the Faculty of Arts regulations require a minimum CGPA of 3.0 for Honours programs, the Department requires in addition a program GPA of 3.50 for admission into the program and the awarding of Honours.

In addition to the completion of the Honours requirements, students must complete at least a minor concentration in an academic unit other than the one in which the Honours requirements are satisfied. (For students completing a second degree in the Faculty of Arts, this regulation is waived.)

** Please note that there will be greater flexibility regarding these requirements due to the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19 and the S/U option.

Application Procedures for the Honours Program

Students interested in pursuing the Honours degree must send an email to: ahadvisor.ahcs [at] mcgill.ca formally requesting admission to the program. Students must attach to this email a brief statement of intent as a separate word or pdf file as well as a completed Program Requirement Checklist marking their progress to date in the program. In the statement, which should not exceed 250 words, students should outline their rationale for applying to the program and indicate the courses they intend to take to complete the degree. In the email to the SAO students should also indicate their program GPA, which must be calculated as it is not listed on transcripts.

Application Deadline and Confirmation

Applications submitted by the end of January by students in their second year of study will be granted priority. The Honours Seminar is a limited enrolment course and priority will be given to students who were accepted into the Honours and Joint Honours program by this deadline. Only once the SAO has confirmed acceptance into the program may students update their status on Minerva.

Required Courses (6 credits):

ARTH 400 Selected Methods: Art History
ARTH 401 Honours Research Paper

Complementary Courses (48 credits):

3-15 credits from the following list, as an introduction to methods, theories, and practices in diverse fields of the discipline:
ARTH 302 Aspects of Canadian Art (3 credits)
ARTH 305 Methods in Art History (3 credits)
ARTH 315 Indigenous Art and Culture (3 credits)
ARTH 339 Critical Issues - Contemporary Art (3 cr.)
ARTH 357 Early Chinese Art (3 credits)

33-45 credits of complementary courses chosen from among departmental course offerings as follows:
- A maximum of 15 credits may be at the 200 level.
- A minimum of 6 credits must be at the 400 level or above (other than ARTH 490 Museum Internship).
- 6 credits should be taken in a language other than English or in courses in one or two related disciplines selected with the written approval of the academic adviser.

Please use the following program requirements guide to help you plan and fulfill your honours in Art History: PDF icon art_history_honours_checklist_2021.pdf


Joint Honours in Art History

The Joint Honours Program in Art History consists of 36 credits.

Students wishing to study at the Honours level in two disciplines can combine Joint Honours program components in any two Arts disciplines. The Joint Honours Component Art History is a flexible program that emphasizes breadth, depth as well as art historical methods and research. It is designed especially for students who anticipate pursuing graduate studies and careers in art history or related disciplines.

Students are encouraged to apply for this program after their first year of study at the University and after completing at least 12 credits in Art History. Students may not apply for the Joint Honours program in their graduating year. Admission is on a competitive basis. While the Faculty of Arts regulations require a minimum CGPA of 3.0, the department requires in addition a program GPA of 3.50 for admission into the Joint Honours program.

** Please note that there will be greater flexibility regarding these requirements due to the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19 and the S/U option.

Application Procedures
 for the Joint Honours Program

Students interested in pursuing the Joint Honours degree must send an email to: ahadvisor.ahcs [at] mcgill.ca formally requesting admission to the program. Students must attach to this email a brief statement of intent as a separate word or pdf file as well as a completed Program Requirement Checklist marking their progress to date in the program. In the statement, which should not exceed 250 words, students should outline their rationale for applying to the program and indicate the courses they intend to take to complete the degree. In the email to the SAO students should also indicate their program GPA, which must be calculated as it is not listed on transcripts.

Application Deadline and Confirmation

Applications submitted by the end of January by students in their second year of study will be granted priority. The Honours Seminar is a limited enrolment course and priority will be given to students who were accepted into the Honours and Joint Honours program by this deadline. Only once the SAO has confirmed acceptance into the program may students update their status on Minerva.

Proposals by qualified students for Joint Honours studies in Art History and certain appropriately related subjects may be submitted for consideration jointly by the Chairs of the Departments concerned.

Required Courses (6 credits):

ARTH 400 Selected Methods: Art History
ARTH 401 Honours Research Paper

Complementary Courses (30 credits):

3-15 credits from the following list, as an introduction to methods, theories, and practices in diverse fields of the discipline:
ARTH 302 Aspects of Canadian Art (3 credits)
ARTH 305 Methods in Art History (3 credits)
ARTH 315 Indigenous Art and Culture (3 credits)
ARTH 339 Critical Issues - Contemporary Art (3 cr.)
ARTH 357 Early Chinese Art (3 credits)

15-27 credits chosen from among departmental course offerings as follows:
- A maximum of 12 credits may be at the 200 level.
- A minimum of 3 credits must be at the 400 level or above (other than ARTH 490 Museum Internship).

Please use the following program requirements guide to help you plan and fulfill your Joint Honours in Art History:PDF icon art_history_joint_honours_checklist_2021.pdf



In addition, courses given in other departments, may, upon consultation with the Department, be regarded as fulfilling part of the requirements. We normally approve the following:

ARCH 250 Introduction to Architectural History
ARCH 251 Introduction to Architectural History
CANS 404 Critical Museology and Heritage in Canada
ENGL 359 Poetics of the Image
PHIL 336 Aesthetics
PHIL 436 Aesthetics
POLI 432 The Politics of Art

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