Art History

If you want to understand culture and history, start with art. As an art history student, you'll dive into the visual arts—from paintings and photographs to architecture and digital media—to discover extraordinary insights about people and society. You'll learn how to be a detective, a historian, an explorer and a decoder of the world around us. In an increasingly visual world, you will become a trusted guide, equipped with the skills to see how we reveal ourselves through art.

What will I learn?

Think of yourself as a time traveler, exploring the history and meaning of art across time. Guided by our expert faculty, you’ll learn how to analyze and decode visual arts in the context of politics, race, gender, sexuality, disability and other cultural factors. You’ll visit local museums and galleries to study priceless paintings, sculptures and other artwork in person. And through our Art Research Library, you’ll have easy access to a huge collection of historic images.

What can I do outside of class?

Let's start with museums and galleries, including the UB Art Gallery and UB Anderson Gallery, where you can practice your skills. Off-campus you’ll find world-class institutions (many of which offer internships), including the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Royal Ontario Museum in nearby Toronto, Canada.

What else can you do here?

  • Intern in Buffalo, New York City and other major cities.
  • Study abroad.
  • Curate an exhibition at on-campus spaces.
  • Meet visiting artists and historians.
Study Abroad

What can I do with an art history degree?

As an art history student, you’ll be accustomed to looking at things with a critical eye—including your job opportunities. This degree is designed to help you succeed, whether you choose a career in the arts or any field that requires deep knowledge of our visual world.

At UB, a vast majority of our art department graduates pursue a career in art and design—a testament to the quality of our education. You'll find our alumni working in galleries, museums, auction houses, government agencies, schools and universities worldwide. Some of the career paths include:

  • Art administration.
  • Art historian.
  • Art installer.
  • Art librarian.
  • Arts editor.
  • Conservator.
  • Curator.
  • Director.
  • Gallery assistant.
  • Professor.
  • Teacher.
  • Writer.

Who will I learn from?

As active artists, scholars and technicians, our faculty are specialists in many different types of art. They are experts in understanding art in the context of architecture and other spaces. They are driven to explore how art relates to society and culture. Perhaps most importantly, they are inspired teachers who are dedicated to our students.

Our faculty have been recognized by some of the biggest names in art, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Warhol Foundation, the Fulbright Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts, to name a few. Of course, as professionals in the field, they also connect students and alumni with opportunities throughout the art world.