/ Art and Art History Department

Degree Programs

The Department of Art and Art History offers majors in studio art, art history and visual arts education, allowing students to discover and focus on what they are passionate about in the world of art.


Studio art

The studio art major teaches visual acuity and creativity in leading to the development of a personal vocabulary in a body of work that culminates in the senior thesis exhibition. At the foundational level, students are introduced to the range of studio art mediums followed by more focused coursework in the student's area of interest at the intermediate level. Senior-year studio seminar courses provide the capstone experience for artistic professional development.

Program Outcomes

Hope College students completing a studio art degree will:

  • Practice open and curious exploration, self-reflection and revision
  • Apply the skills and techniques of various disciplines in studio art
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate about art 
  • Demonstrate professionalism in presenting oneself and one’s work
  • Identify connections between form and content

View full studio art description in the catalog 

Art history

The art history major provides students with an in-depth study of the history of the visual arts using objects of study as well as primary and secondary sources. Students begin with an introductory-level course that provides an overview of art history, then move into intermediate courses with more specific topics and focuses before culminating in a senior-year capstone in which a senior thesis is written.

Program Outcomes

Hope College students completing an Art History degree will:

  • Apply discipline-specific vocabulary and contexts in analyzing a work of art in oral and written form
  • Integrate primary and secondary sources into argumentative oral and written assignments
  • Analyze the formal qualities of a work of art using traditional and current methods and theories
  • Produce an independent, research-driven example of scholarly writing on a work of art or issue relating to the visual arts
  • Identify major artists, movements and works of art from multiple eras throughout the global history of art

View full art history description in the catalog 

visual Arts education k–12

In partnership with the Hope College Department of Education, the Department of Art and Art History offers a secondary track visual arts education teaching major (grades K–12) through the State of Michigan. This program is aligned with the other majors within the department to provide the student with both art history and experience with studio practice that leads to the culminating senior thesis exhibition.  

View full visual arts education description in the catalog 

Art history and Language

Many students choose to pair their art history major with the study of a foreign language; one popular choice is art history and French. This can be a highly advantageous choice when considering one's future career or path to higher education. Students may also choose to study abroad, which can greatly benefit both majors. If you are interested in pursuing this double major, speak with professors in both departments and contact your advisor.

Art history and studio art

Some art students choose to double major in both art history and studio art. This may be an advantageous choice, as the two majors are mutually beneficial and there is some overlap in course requirements. If you are interested in pursuing this double major, contact the Department of Art and Art History for more information or speak with your advisor.


Studio art

The studio art minor combines courses in art, including at least four credits above the 100 studio level, along with a selection of elective courses.

View full studio art minor description in the catalog 

Art history

The art history minor features a concentration of upper-level art history classes along with at least one studio art course. 

View full art history minor description in the catalog 

Community arts pedagogy

The community arts pedagogy minor incorporates studio art, art history, and art education courses and is intended for students interested in working in community arts programs, museum education, cultural centers and similar settings.

View full community art pedagogy minor description in the catalog