BFA with Art History Thesis

Requirements for the BFA: Studio Art with Art History (AH) Thesis

Students who are interested in the BFA: Studio Art with Art History (AH) Thesis should complete the steps outlined below, ideally by the end of the spring semester of their freshman year or in fall semester of their sophomore year:

Step 1: Student confirms with an Academic Advisor that they have at least 12 credits of Art History and/or General Electives remaining to use for the thesis sequence.

Step 2: Student meets with the Art History, Theory, and Criticism Undergraduate Program Director by the end of their freshmen year or beginning of sophomore year.

Step 3: Student applies to the BFA AH Thesis Program by submitting to the AH Undergrad Program Director: 1) their SAIC transcript showing at least 12 credits of Art History and/General Electives remaining; 2) a writing sample that shows the student’s research, writing, and citation ability; and 3) a brief description (1 page) of the student’s proposed thesis topic.

Step 4: If the student is accepted into the program, they should enroll in:

  • ARTHI 2900 Sophomore Seminar in their sophomore year (3 credit hours)
  • ARTHI 3900 Junior Proseminar in their junior year (3 credit hours)
  • CAPSTONE 4899 AH Undergraduate Thesis Seminar I in fall of their senior year; as well as 4900 AH Undergraduate Thesis Seminar II in spring of their senior year (6 credit hours)    

Step 5: Completion of thesis must be approved by both the Thesis II instructor and the AH Undergraduate Coordinator. Students are required to make a formal presentation and participate in the Undergraduate Art History Thesis Symposium in the senior year.

Research, Theory, and Methods: 12
  • SOPHSEM 2900 Sophomore Seminar in Art History (3)
  • PROFPRAC 3900 Art History Junior Proseminar* (3)
  • ARTHI 4899 Art History Research Methods 1: Thesis Methodology Seminar (3)
  • CAPSTONE 4900 Art History Research Methods II: Thesis Writing Seminar (3)
  • Completion of Written Thesis
David Getsy for the Art History Department


The Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism newly offers SAIC BFA students the option to supplement their studio curriculum with an Art History Thesis. This BFA with Art History Thesis (BFAAHT) is not a distinct degree, but a variant of the BFA degree that students can opt into, enabling their immersion in the faculty and resources of the Art History Department's programs, including the well-known Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History (MAAH) and Dual-Degree Graduate Program in addition to our existing Bachelor of Arts in Art History (BAAH). BFAAHT students can expect to receive specialized, individual attention in intensive Art History seminars as they develop original thesis projects exploring questions and topics of their own devising. In their senior year, BFAAHT students will take the year-long Art History Senior Thesis seminar that culminates in the Undergraduate Art History Thesis Symposium.