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Art and Design History


Art history is one of the broadest fields in the humanities, concerned not only with the nature of works of art — their form, style, and content — but also with the social, political, and cultural circumstances that shape them. This minor encourages a lifelong understanding and appreciation of art and design, with opportunities to cultivate more advanced and specialized knowledge.

The Art and Design History minor requires successful completion of 18 credits across five subject areas, as outlined in the chart below.

Note: Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Some courses may be in development and offered at a later time. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.


A student who has completed this minor should be able to demonstrate

  • Competence in thinking, speaking, and writing clearly and effectively and communicating with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.
  • In-depth knowledge of the tools and techniques of scholarship. Active research and the writing of analytical and critical essays should continue throughout the program.
  • Understanding of the social, cultural, and political dimensions of art and design throughout history through assigned readings and lectures.
  • Understanding of the key issues and debates of recent scholarship in art and design history and theory through exams, research papers, and literature reviews.
  • Competence in articulating a critical awareness of the potential of art and design as agents of social and political change throughout history, including the relationship between the production and consumption of art and issues such as gender, race, and class.
  • Understanding of world history, reflected in the ability to address culture and history from a variety of perspectives.
  • In-depth understanding of the practice of art criticism, reflected in the ability to read and write in a variety of expository and creative modes.
  • Understanding of the relevance of fields related to art and design history, such as visual culture studies, material culture studies, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology.
  • Study in greater depth and precision of a specific culture and period in the history of art and/or design concentration in at least one area to the advanced seminar level.


Subject Area Course Options Requirements
Art and Design Survey 3 credits

3–6 credits

* ADHT faculty advisor permission required.


3–6 credits

* ADHT faculty advisor permission required.

  • Students should select a course or courses from within the PLAH subject code at the 4000 level.
3–6 credits
Studio Practice
  • Students should select a studio course or courses appropriate to their studio skill and experience. Qualifying courses can be found within subject codes beginning PSxx or PUxx.
3–6 credits


Minors are available to undergraduate students across The New School except those students at Lang and the Bachelors Program for Adults and Transfer Students who are completing a self-designed BA or BS in Liberal Arts, who are not permitted to declare minors. For students at Lang or the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students interested in pursuing a deeper study of this subject area, opportunities are available through the self-designed major in Liberal Arts. To explore this option, contact an academic advisor or read more information about self-designed options for Lang or the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students.
For questions regarding this minor’s curriculum, including requests for course substitutions, please contact Rachel Lifter, assistant professor of fashion studies, at and Ethan Robey, assistant professor of history of decorative arts and design, at