Classics and Art History (BA)

Department Website

Program Description

Art History

Once described by New York Times art critic John Russell as the best undergraduate department of art history in the country, the art history program at NYU was established to provide a rigorous and wide-ranging education in the many facets of the history and theory of art, a mission that its faculty continues to enthusiastically embrace. Students become familiar with global art from antiquity to the present. The department offers courses in ancient, medieval, Renaissance, baroque, modern, contemporary, East Asian, South Asian, Islamic, Latin American, African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and Native American art, treating not only painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography but also graphic media, manuscript illumination, the decorative arts, and aspects of urban design. The department is one of the few undergraduate programs in the country with extensive offerings in conservation and museology and also publishes its own student journal (Ink & Image). A myriad of museums, galleries, and local architectural sites make New York City the ideal place in which to study the visual arts on site and in the flesh. Beyond New York, art history courses are offered at NYU's study away sites, such as Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, and Prague.


The Department of Classics explores all aspects of the Greek and Roman worlds, including their languages and literatures, art and archaeology, history, philosophy, religion, politics, economics, and law. We also feature courses on comparative studies of the ancient world beyond the Mediterranean, and the modern reception and transformation of classical literature, art, and philosophy. This broad interdisciplinary approach to these cultures that have had a major role in shaping Western values and thought provides an excellent undergraduate education. Similar to other liberal arts majors in philosophy, history, or English, our graduates go on to careers in education, law, medicine, business, politics, and the media.

Classroom instruction is supplemented by a variety of activities. In addition to film screenings, lectures, and field trips sponsored by a lively Classics Club, students have access to the superb collections of antiquities at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the American Numismatic Society, and the Pierpont Morgan Library, as well as to the department's own collection of antiquities. Finally, opportunities for travel and study abroad are available in Greece, Italy, and other Mediterranean sites.


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