Majoring in History of Art & Architecture

This major introduces students to monuments and works of art worldwide. Majors work closely with faculty to gain visual and interpretative skills as well as an understanding of technique, materials, and the context in which works of art and architecture are made and viewed. Students come away with a mastery of written and oral skills, together with a thorough knowledge of the history of art and architecture spanning diverse cultures and a broad chronological range. The opportunity to do a major with honors is available. The major encourages study abroad through many programs. Students take advantage of local Boston museums for assignments and internships. Upon graduation, History of Art & Architecture majors work in museums, galleries, auction houses, architectural firms, municipal and state cultural programs, educational institutions, preservation, and publishing. Many students go on to do graduate work.

Majors in History of Art & Architecture are encouraged to take courses in related areas such as archaeology, classics, philosophy, history, religion, and literature. Opportunities exist for dual majors or major/minor combinations and are encouraged for those who wish to pursue an interdisciplinary liberal arts education. Each student works closely and regularly with his or her chosen advisor in developing a coherent and meaningful program of study suited to his or her needs and interests.

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in History of Art & Architecture will, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic and Historical Interpretation, Diversity, Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship, Communication and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

For full details of the major, see the Bulletin description. 

The learning outcomes for the BA in the History of Art & Architecture:

  • Acquire geographically and temporally broad knowledge of the history of art and architecture
  • Acquire familiarity with different methodologies in the history of art, architecture and material culture
  • Develop visual and textual analytic skills
  • Learn oral communication of art historical arguments
  • Learn to produce cogent written arguments supported by visual and textual research

Click here for a .pdf containing the current requirements for a concentration in the History of Art & Architecture.


A grade of C is the minimum acceptable for a concentrator in a departmental course.

For information about concentrations, see the Director of Undergraduate Studies.


Majoring in Architectural Studies

The major in architectural studies emphasizes skills and knowledge that are fundamental to understanding, designing, and writing about buildings and spaces, both historical and contemporary.  

The major can appropriately prepare students for graduateprofessional study in architecture.  It is also highly suitable for those interested in a broad, interdisciplinary approach to architecture, leading to numerous other careers.  

The 11 course major features several required classes in architectural history and design, plus a selection of relevant electives in the humanities, arts, social sciences, urban studies, and engineering.  Opportunities exist for dual majors andmajor/minor combinations. Students interested in graduate studyin architecture should also take calculus (CAS MA 121 or 123) and physics (CAS PY 105).

For full details of the major, see the Bulletin description. 

The learning outcomes for the BA in Architectural Studies:

  • Acquire knowledge of specific areas of learning that will prepare the student for a future career in architecture or related fields of design
  • Demonstrate the ability to read critically, to think critically, to design creatively, and to write synthetically
  • Acquire a foundation in the history and theory of architecture and urbanism
  • Master effective analysis of visual, spatial, and structural issues in architecture
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct research, manage evidence, and construct an argument concerning a topic in architecture, landscape, or urbanism

Click here  for a .pdf containing the current requirements and suggested course sequence for a concentration in Architectural Studies.


A grade of C is the minimum acceptable for a concentrator in a departmental course.

For information about concentrations, see the Director of Undergraduate Studies.