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5 Reasons Why You Should be an Art History Major

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The Bachelor in Art History  degree at Southern Utah University is a liberal arts degree that focuses on knowledge about art in the context of a broad course of general studies. Students in this area of study will be able to articulate what they learn through language, writing, and hands on studio work.

Students in art history explore their passion for art with a sense of its place in society and its role in the cultural life of its time and now. Art history graduates enter the job market with skills in the power of reasoned argument, deep research, and persuasive writing.

To help students discover if being an art history major is right for them, Tessa Brunnenmeyer, a junior in the program, gave five reasons why this major could be the right choice. 

Study influential artists

Art history majors will study historic and influential artists, which will provide them with an understanding and appreciation of the past thus influencing their thoughts and opinions on the present. The major encourages critical thinking, articulate expression of thought, humanity, discipline and problem solving skills. Brunnenmeyer points out that students gain a deeper appreciation of their favorite artist and changes the way they approach their own art.

Great faculty mentors

The faculty and staff members in the Art and Design department care about each individual student and want to see them succeed. Great professors, like Andy Marvick, help students stay on track, receive internships and graduate on time. If a student has a problem in their schedule or a question about a class, professors like Marvick are there to help them out and find the answers.

Getting involved in extracurricular activities is encouraged

As an art history major, students are encouraged to become involved in extra activities to become a more well-rounded student. For Brunnenmeyer, she has a second major in philosophy and a minor in museum studies, plus she has time to serve on leadership councils for two clubs on campus. It is suggested that students use their time to find more connections on campus, get involved, and learn in other areas outside of their major. Being well-rounded and involved on campus can help students find better experiences and jobs while on campus and after they graduate.

Students are exposed to world-class art at SUMA

The professional Southern Utah Museum of Art on SUU’s campus exposes students to many opportunities to study art history outside of the classroom. The rotation of exhibits within the museum provide students with never-ending opportunities to see and study historical pieces, new work and meet a variety of artists. Classes like Art Insights, which is an artist lecture-series, is held inside SUMA so students can hear from the artist, ask questions and see their work in-person.

Opportunities are available if you know where to look.

Not only can you learn about a variety of artists and experience world-class art at SUMA, you can work there too. SUMA offers several opportunities for internships and volunteer work. There are also art galleries around Cedar City that are willing to showcase student work. No matter what, Brunnenmeyer stresses the importance of creating opportunities and getting involved with as much as possible.

“The department is small so there aren’t always a lot of specialized courses,” said Brunnenmeyer. “By creating your own opportunities, it will help with your independent research, and you’ll have a go-to for a letter of recommendation later on.”

With specialized learning year-round, a supportive faculty, and an interesting subject matter, there is no better time than now to dive into the world of art history.


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