Santa Clara University

Department of Art and Art History

Art History - Student Learning Objectives

Revised May 2009

Goal 1. [Knowledge Acquisition]
Students graduate with an awareness of the breadth and depth of the world of visual and material culture, both through time and across geographical boundaries.

  • 1a. Students can explain the general developments of visual and material culture in the west and at least one other culture outside the traditional western canon.

Goal 2. [Disciplinary Competence: Core Practices/Critical Thinking]
Students can think critically about art objects and cultural artifacts in multiple socio-historical contexts and intellectual/historical traditions.

  • 2a. Students can analyze and evaluate primary and secondary visual and textual sources using appropriately the vocabulary of the discipline of art history.
  • 2b. Students can explain connections between the visual properties of the object and its social, cultural, intellectual and historical contexts and meanings using appropriately the vocabulary of the discipline of art history.

Goal 3. [Disciplinary Competence: Origins and Methods]
Students know the fundamentals of Art History’s history and its methods—including those borrowed from other disciplines.

  • 3a. Students can describe the broad outlines of the history of the discipline as presented in the discipline’s foundational texts.
  • 3b. Students can apply and evaluate a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods.
  • 3c. Students can describe the historical and / or ethical issues related to the collection and display of art.

Goal 4. [Research and Communication]
Students can communicate effectively the results of their research in written and oral form.

  • 4a. Students can formulate a hypothesis, research it using appropriate research tools and indices, develop it into a thesis, and present their work in both written and oral formats that display well-researched, well-argued / supported, appropriately formatted, and professionally delivered presentations.


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