Courses and Requirements

View Courses from the Vassar College Catalogue.

The department offers majors or correlates in Art History and Studio Art. Enriched by a comprehensive college art museum, both majors culminate in a one-semester senior thesis or independent studio project. Art 105-106 (Introduction to the History of Art)—required for majors and encouraged for all Vassar students—opens with monuments of the ancient world and ends with today’s global video as professors in the department present their areas of special expertise. Upper-level courses offer work in architectural and museum studies as well as art history and criticism. Academic credits may also be earned through study abroad and fieldwork or internships in the New York museums, galleries, and auction houses. Art 102-103 (Drawing I), the introductory studio course, opens the way for students with a range of drawing experience to advanced classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, color, computer animation, and video. An architecture sequence of introductory, intermediate, and advanced drawing and design classes is also offered.

The courses in the catalogue for Art (ART) include courses for Art History and Studio Art (studio work in design, drawing, painting, sculpture, and architectural design.

Campus Resources

All Vassar art history courses draw heavily upon selected analytical and historical readings to provide insight, background, and illumination to studied artworks. In order to provide students access to these materials within a reasonable budget, all required readings are available in the Art Library at the Reserve Desk. To ensure all students have access to required works, readings on reserve may be checked out for only three hours at a time.

Honors and Grants

Contact the department for more information about the following opportunities:

  • Frances Daly Fergusson Prize
  • Gertrude Buttenwieser Prins Prize
  • Lewis Rubenstein Award
  • Weitzel-Barber Art Travel Prize
  • Research Fund for Senior Essays

The Office of Fellowships has additional fellowships, including the W.K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts.

Majors Committee

The majors committee consists of elected majors and the department academic intern.

Additional student organizations include the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Student Council.


  • Arts Education Program at Dia:Beacon
  • Study Abroad
  • A variety of student jobs on campus engage with the arts, from research assistants to art history and studio art professors, to docents in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
  • Eastern College Consortium (E.C.Co.) Program, Bologna, Italy
    Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts)
    The Studio Program recognizes E.C.Co. courses taken at the Academia di Belle Arti in Bologna for possible transfer credits into the major or correlate. Students that are interested in taking a semester abroad in Italy should consider this and enroll in Italian as four semesters of Italian are required to attend the program. View more information on the E.C.Co site.
  • Art students have won numerous fellowships for further study and independent projects including the Fulbright, Beinecke, and Belle Skinner Fellowships. Art majors regularly engage in the discipline beyond Vassar via internships in museums, galleries, auction houses, and artists’ studios.