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The art history certificate requires four courses and is open to any undergraduate major.

The certificate is designed to meet twenty-first century needs by promoting visual literacy in an increasingly visual world. Our classes teach critical and creative approaches to analysis, problem-solving, writing, and visual communication using a variety of artistic media, including painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, prints, ephemera, and the decorative arts.

Students earning the certificate will hone skills in visual analysis and interpretation that make them more competitive in a variety of today’s fields of employment, including (but not limited to) professions in the arts, in social sciences, and in physical sciences—all of which require the skills taught in our courses.

Important Notes:

  • Students who are thinking about declaring the Art History Certificate as well as the Material Culture Certificate: Undergraduate students may request permission to complete both the Art History Certificate and the Material Culture Certificate but only one course may overlap between the two certificates. Please consult with the undergraduate advisor, Teddy Kaul (, with any questions.
  • Only one transfer course from another institution may be counted toward the Art History Certificate. (This does not include UW–Madison study abroad programs for which courses taken in these programs are considered "in residence.")
  • AP credits may count toward the “Electives” course requirement for the Art History Certificate.

Students are eligible to declare the certificate at any point in their studies. We encourage students to declare as early as possible in order to plan their required coursework.  Students should contact the undergraduate advisor to declare the certificate

Students thinking about declaring the Art History Certificate as well as the Material Culture Certificate: Undergraduate students may request permission to complete both the Art History Certificate and the Material Culture Certificate but only one course can overlap between the two certificates.  Please consult with the undergraduate advisor with any questions.

Students enrolled in the Art History major may not enroll in the Certificate.

Requirements for the Certificate

Four courses and 12 credits are required, as follows:

Intermediate Survey Course

Complete one:
ART HIST/​CLASSICS  300 The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece3-4
ART HIST 301 Myths, Loves, and Lives in Greek Vases3-4
ART HIST 302 Greek Sculpture3-4
ART HIST 303 Topics in Art History3
ART HIST/​CLASSICS  304 The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome3-4
ART HIST 305 History of Islamic Art and Architecture3
ART HIST 307 From Tomb to Temple: Ancient Chinese Art and Religion in Transition3
ART HIST 308 The Tastes of Scholars and Emperors: Chinese Art in the Later Periods3
ART HIST 310 Icons, Religion, and Empire: Early Christian and Byzantine Art, ca. 200-14533
ART HIST 318 Romanesque and Gothic Art and Architecture3-4
ART HIST 320 Italian Renaissance Art3-4
ART HIST 322 Italian Art from Donatello to Leonardo da Vinci, 1400-15003-4
ART HIST 323 From Michelangelo & Raphael to Titian: The Arts in 16th Century Italy3-4
ART HIST 331 Angels, Demons, and Nudes: Early Netherlandish Painting from Bosch to Bruegel3-4
ART HIST 335 Study Abroad in Ancient/Medieval Art1-6
ART HIST 336 Study Abroad in Renaissance/Baroque/Northern Art1-6
ART HIST 337 Study Abroad in 18th-20th Century Art1-6
ART HIST 338 Study Abroad in African/Asian Art1-6
ART HIST 341 Italian Baroque Art3-4
ART HIST 346 British Art and Society from the Eighteenth Century to the Present3-4
ART HIST 350 19th Century Painting in Europe3-4
ART HIST 351 20th Century Art in Europe3-4
ART HIST 354 Cross-Cultural Arts Around the Atlantic Rim: 1800 to the Present3-4
ART HIST 355 History of Photography3
ART HIST 357 History of Wisconsin Architecture, 1800-present3
ART HIST/​AMER IND  359 American Indian Art History: Contemporary Issues3
ART HIST 360 Gore Luxury Identity Mimesis: Northern Renaissance3
ART HIST/​DS  363 American Decorative Arts and Interiors: 1620-18403-4
ART HIST 364 History of American Art: Art, Material Culture, and Constructions of Identity, 1607-present3-4
ART HIST 365 The Concept of Contemporary Art3-4
ART HIST 372 Arts of Japan3-4
ART HIST/​RELIG ST  373 Great Cities of Islam3
ART HIST 375 Later Japanese Painting and Woodblock Prints3-4
ART HIST/​ASIAN  379 Cities of Asia3

area focus

Complete one:
ART HIST 403 Topics in Art History3
ART HIST 405 Cities and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece3
ART HIST 407 Topics in Nineteenth Century Art3-4
ART HIST 408 Topics in Twentieth-Century Art3-4
ART HIST 409 Topics in Contemporary Art3
ART HIST 411 Topics in Asian Art3-4
ART HIST 412 Topics in African and African Diaspora Art History3-4
ART HIST 413 Art and Architecture in the Age of the Caliphs3
ART HIST/​MEDIEVAL  415 Topics in Medieval Art3
ART HIST 420 Topics in Italian Renaissance Art3
ART HIST 425 Race and Gender in Italian Early Modern Art3
ART HIST/​ASIAN  428 Visual Cultures of India3
ART HIST 430 Topics in Visual Culture3
ART HIST 431 Topics in Theory3
ART HIST 435 Study Abroad in Ancient/Medieval Art1-6
ART HIST 436 Study Abroad in Renaissance/Baroque/Northern Art1-6
ART HIST 437 Study Abroad in 18th-20th Century Art1-6
ART HIST 438 Study Abroad in African/Asian Art1-6
ART HIST 440 Art and Power in the Arab World3
ART HIST 454 Art in Germany, 1900-19453-4
ART HIST 457 History of American Vernacular Architecture and Landscapes3
ART HIST 468 Frank Lloyd Wright3-4
ART HIST 469 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts1-4
ART HIST 475 Japanese Ceramics and Allied Arts3
ART HIST/​RELIG ST  478 Art and Religious Practice in Medieval Japan3
ART HIST 479 Art and History in Africa3-4
ART HIST 600 Special Topics in Art History3
ART HIST 601 Introduction to Museum Studies I3
ART HIST 602 Introduction to Museum Studies II3
ART HIST 603 Curatorial Studies Colloquium3
ART HIST/​ASIAN  621 Mapping, Making, and Representing Colonial Spaces3
ART HIST/​HISTORY/​JOURN/​L I S  650 History of Books and Print Culture in Europe and North America3


Complete one:
ART HIST 500 Proseminar: Special Topics in Art History3
ART HIST 505 Proseminar in Ancient Art3
ART HIST 506 Curatorial Studies Exhibition Practice3
ART HIST 510 Proseminar in Islamic Art and Architecture3
ART HIST 515 Proseminar in Medieval Art3
ART HIST 525 Proseminar in Italian Renaissance Art3
ART HIST 535 Proseminar in Northern European Painting3
ART HIST 555 Proseminar in 19th Century European Art3
ART HIST 556 Proseminar in 20th Century European Art3
ART HIST 567 Proseminar in American Architecture3
ART HIST 569 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Arts1-4
ART HIST 575 Proseminar in Japanese Art3
ART HIST 576 Proseminar in Chinese Art3
ART HIST 579 Proseminar in African Art3


To attain the minimum 4 courses and 12 credits, complete any course listed above not needed for the area requirements, or any of the courses in the list below. AP credits may count toward the “Electives” course requirement for the Art History Certificate.

ART HIST 103 Topics in Art History3-4
ART HIST 104 The Art of Diversity: Race and Representation in the Art and Visual Culture of the United States3-4
ART HIST 105 Introductory Topics in Art History3
ART HIST 201 History of Western Art I: From Pyramids to Cathedrals4
ART HIST 202 History of Western Art II: From Renaissance to Contemporary4
ART HIST 203 Survey of Asian Art3-4
ART HIST 205 Global Arts4
ART HIST 206 Survey of Photography: 1839 to 19893-4
ART HIST 210 A History of the World in 20 Buildings3
ART HIST 227 The Ends of Modernism4
ART HIST/​AFROAMER  241 Introduction to African Art and Architecture3
ART HIST/​AFROAMER  242 Introduction to Afro-American Art3
ART HIST 681 Senior Honors Thesis3
ART HIST 682 Senior Honors Thesis3
ART HIST 691 Senior Thesis3-6
ART HIST 692 Senior Thesis3-6
ART HIST 697 Undergraduate Curatorial Studies Internship (Directed Study)1-3
ART HIST 698 Directed Study2-3
ART HIST 699 Directed Study1-3

Residence and Quality of Work

  • At least 6 Certificate credits must be earned in residence
  • A 2.000 GPA is required in all courses approved for the certificate

Certificate Completion Requirement

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Describe objects and images accurately; identify different stylistic characteristics and media; recall artists and art movements; analyze images.
  2. Interpret art in context of deeper historical knowledge of specific cultures, acquire critical reading skills, integrate research.
  3. Apply critical reading and writing skills, produce original interpretations, make plausible arguments based on visual and historical evidence, acquire sophisticated research abilities; formal oral presentation skills.

Advising questions may be directed to the undergraduate advisor, Teddy Kaul (, or the director of undergraduate studies in the department.

Each fall, the department hosts an Art History Majors and Career Fair for majors and certificate students as well as anyone interested in the field. We discuss course opportunities and internships on campus and in the community. We also invite alumni to speak about their career paths. Our director of undergraduate studies also hosts a workshop on “How to Apply to Graduate School” each fall. We also work with SuccessWorks to organize events for our students.

L&S career resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.


Professors Andrzejewski, Cahill, Casid, Chopra, Dale, Marshall, Rosenblum (chair)
Associate Professors Li, Phillips-Court, Pruitt
Assistant Professors Nelson, Spaulding
Affiliate Professors Aylward, Clark, Kern, Moskowitz, Nadler, Wolf
Affiliate Associate Professor Abdu’Allah
Affiliate Assistant Professors Campbell, Carter