The Visual Studies concentration offers a distinctive approach to the study of the history and theory of art as well as the broader field of visual culture. Most Visual Studies courses are suitable for students at any level of training and experience in the visual arts; any prerequisites are noted in the course descriptions.

Concentration in Visual Studies

The Visual Studies concentration requires the following courses.

Four foundational courses:

  • LVIS 2001: Introduction to Art History and Visual Studies
  • LVIS 2010: Exhibitions as History, or another approved exhibition or museum studies course
  • LVIS 3001: Methods of Art History and Visual Studies
  • LVIS 3250: Practicing Curating, or another approved curatorial studies course

Two studio or practice-based visual arts courses

Two LVIS art history or visual studies electives

Three Lang Interarts (LINA) courses

An approved aesthetics course such as ULEC 2320: Aesthetics; ULEC 2730: Power and Visuality; LINA 2001: Ideas and Practices Across the Arts; or LINA 2002: Aesthetics Across the Arts

Senior Capstone, either one of the Arts senior seminars or an individual or collaborative independent project

Arts in Context Concentration

The Arts in Context concentration allows students to combine Visual Studies courses with courses in a liberal arts discipline of their choice. For example, a student can focus on arts criticism by taking courses in Visual Studies and Writing. Other majors such as Psychology or Urban Studies can also provide wider contexts for visual art studies. Arts in Context students should follow the minor requirements for Visual Studies below, or an alternate plan of study approved by the Visual Studies Coordinator.

Minor in Visual Studies

Undergraduate students from any school in the university who are not majoring in Liberal Arts can select the Visual Studies minor. (Lang students pursuing a BA or BS in Liberal Arts: See Self-Designed Major below.) Note: Arts majors can enroll in any minor of their choice, including an Arts minor in a discipline different from the one already being studied in their major. Interested students should review the curriculum below and speak with the Visual Studies Coordinator before declaring this minor.

The Visual Studies minor requires the following five courses:

  • One introductory course (LVIS 2001: Introduction to Art History and Visual Studies, or PLVS 2500: Introduction to Visual Culture)
  • One theory or methodology course (LVIS 3001: Methods of Art History and Visual Studies, or PLAH 4098: Theories of Avant-Garde, or another approved LVIS 3000-level course)
  • Three elective courses in art history and visual studies (including LINA courses). At least two of these electives must be 3000 level or higher, and at least one course must highlight global perspectives.

Students who wish to pursue the Visual Studies minor at Lang must complete at least three LVIS courses (or two LVIS courses and one LINA course) at Lang. For transfer students, no more than two transfer courses count toward the Visual Studies minor.

Lang Culture and Media (LCST) courses can be used to fulfill Visual Studies elective requirements with approval from the Visual Studies coordinator.

Students must receive a grade of C or better in every course used to fulfill area of study requirements.

Self-Designed Major (BA or BS, Liberal Arts)

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts may not elect an academic minor. However, they may pursue deeper study in this subject area through the self-designed major. To explore this, contact an academic advisor or read more about the self-designed major at Lang.