Art History, Minor

Department of Comparative Cultural Studies

College of Arts and Letters

The power of visual art resides in the fact that it is simultaneously more concrete and more abstract than a text. Through the study of formal analysis, iconology, and historic themes, this minor allows you to uncover the "what" behind a work of art, "how" that work imparts meaning visually, and the cultural context—the “why”—from which it derives. This minor also provides flexibility in the a variety of approved electives.

  • A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.

    To receive a minor (18 - 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

No more than fifty percent of the units used to satisfy minor requirements may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Major GPA C

Purpose Statement  

The purpose of the ARH minor is to teach students about the ways in which global societies – both historically and in the modern world – have expressed their political, religious, and humanistic values through the media of visual culture. The minor offers a limited number of credit hours derived from courses offered in the ARH emphasis. The skills provided in the minor are Critical Thinking, Critical Reading, Effective Writing, Interdisciplinarity and Comparative Cultural Awareness. Further learning experiences exist in terms of internships arranged through cooperation with the Arts and Cultural Management minor. The minor especially cultivates visual acuity, the ability to read, analyze and absorb a visual text – this visual acuity is applicable across all disciplines in the College of Arts and Letters and is also increasingly being brought to bear in vocational contexts as varied as engineering, medicine and law enforcement. The ARH minor helps students understand how visual culture has shaped their decisions and actions, as well as their history, social structure and psychology.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students in the ARH minor will demonstrate and/or gain:  

  • the ability to identify works of art and architecture
  • the ability to understand the art historical and cultural significance of works of art and architecture in global societies
  • the ability to master and employ art historical vocabulary in visual analysis that is both critical and comparative
  • the ability to identify the specific visual elements that connect a work of art to its cultural context
  • the ability to articulate art historical and cultural significance in clear and concise prose

Minor Requirements
  • Take the following 18 units with a Grade of "C" or better in each course:

    • Select one course from: ARH 141, ARH 142 (3 units)
    • Select one course from: ARH 143, ARH 145 (3 units)
    • ARH elective courses at the 200 level or higher (6 units)
    • ARH elective courses at the 300 level or higher (6 units)

    In addition, at least 9 ARH units must be taken at NAU, including two ARH upper-division courses.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.