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University of Colorado Denver

College of Arts & Media

Art History

Visual Arts Department

Why is art made? What role does it play in our society and culture? How does it benefit us? For those who are interested in the history and analysis of the visual arts, the University of Colorado Denver’s Visual Arts department offers a comprehensive art history program.  The educational experience for the art history student is centered on the knowledge and skills gained from rigorous and structured courses as well as the rich academic offerings throughout the university. You will study the bases of art history–the time the work was made, its style, formed in an historical period; the placing of the work of art in the period or place of origin; and, the artist, his/her time in history, his/her influencing predecessors, contemporaries and followers and schools of thought. You also study forms–painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, and contemporary computer design and technology.  At the end of the your four years of study, students receiving the Art History Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree are required to participate in the BA faculty juried thesis oral presentation during which you demonstrate and describe your keen understanding of the art object in history.

For more information and program details contact:

Maria Elena Buszek,​ Associate Professor
​Jeffrey Schrader​, Associate Professor

To Prospective Students (freshmen & transfer): 

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for a Fall semester start (the Visual Arts Department accepts Fall applications only). This is due to the fact that the majority of the first-semester courses are offered in Fall semesters only.  The Visual Arts majors are highly sequenced and pre-requisites are strictly enforced.  Students who begin in the Spring and Summer semesters may find that their required courses are not offered until the Fall semester.

Education for Future Professionals…

Classes cover all areas of art history. All students pursuing a BA in Fine Arts must complete the 12 credits of Visual Arts Foundation Courses, the 18 credits of Required Art History Emphasis Courses, and 15 credits of Art History Topic Courses, one course from each of the following: Art Historical Surveys; Art and Diversity; Art Theory; Art and Technology; and, Art Marketing and Display.  Whether you’re looking to curate you own gallery or a museum or become an exhibition coordinator, the College of Arts & Media combines a thorough academic curriculum with internship and extracurricular opportunities. 

You won’t have to go far to gain valuable experience in your field. Budding art historians have their own Art History Students Association.  The Art History Students Association (AHSA) is a very active group bringing in top notch visiting artists to campus. The student club was created to promote art history among students by providing information on art history-related careers and graduate schools, internship and research opportunities, scholarships, fellowship and grant possibilities, and academic assistance to art history students.

To learn more about the opportunities awaiting you in the Art History program, please contact a College of Arts & Media advisor.

Educating and Encouraging...

The Visual Arts faculty is comprised of artists and historians who understand the importance art applications both in and outside of the classroom.   For this reason, your instructors strive to be the bridge between you and the professional world.  With the encouragement and efforts of faculty, students are able to involve themselves with the Denver Art Museum, the Emmanuel Gallery, and with various galleries and museums across the front range.

The faculty’s active participation in their field ensures that students receive both a traditional and a cutting-edge education.  To learn more about the Visual Arts faculty, please select their name and you will be directed to their personal web pages, or visit the faculty home page​.

The Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts Degree...

Students pursuing careers in Art History receive a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from the Department of Visual Arts in the College of Arts & Media, a degree awarded by the University of Colorado Denver.


Students who wish to transfer to the College of Arts & Media from another college or school at the University of Colorado Denver must formally apply to the College of Arts & Media.  Students will be considered for admission on either their overall GPA in applicable coursework from CU and all previous institutions, or on their last 15 credit hours.  Applicants with less than a 2.0 GPA in related courses (from CU or other institutions) and an overall CU GPA of less than 2.0 will be denied admission even though they may meet other requirements for consideration.   

Please contact a CAM advisor for further admission information. ​​​