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Art History

Art history majors have interned at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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Your Augustana art history major or minor will take you on a journey from Paleolithic cave paintings to contemporary art across multiple continents. Your exploration will begin with a survey of world art to a senior seminar with a professor and four or five other students.

Your faculty advisor will work with you to focus and integrate your experience, including internships and/or work at Augustana’s Center for Visual Culture, toward the future you see for yourself.

This is why 100% of art history majors who have worked closely with their advisors have been admitted to graduate school in art history. Others use their majors to pursue law or medical school.

Many use their preparation and inspiration for teaching, gallery or museum directing or curating, museum education, art conservation, arts advocacy, auction houses, historic preservation or publishing. Art history majors are well positioned to pursue a variety of career options.

See also our programs in art.

What you'll learn

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Intellectual curiosity

Intellectual curiosity

Set yourself up for lifelong intellectual growth. Take responsibility for your own learning.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking

Combine ideas to create something new. Use imaginative ways of solving problems.

Intercultural competence

Intercultural competence

Understand real and imaginary similarities and differences. Use more than one perspective to view issues.

sarah berndt

Sarah Berndt was awarded a fully funded fellowship with the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, a highly selective two-year graduate program sponsored by the University of Delaware and the Winterthur Museum.


• Through the extensive teaching collection in Augustana’s Center for Visual Culture, students view works of art as primary texts and historic documents, and can gain first-hand experience in museum operations and collections management.

• Augustana offers scholarships of $10,000 ($2,500 for up to four years) to students with a strong high school record and an interest in majoring in art history. This is on top of all other scholarships and grants from Augustana — including $2,000 with Augie Choice, to use toward living or travel expenses during study abroad, research or an internship.

• Working with faculty and career coaches in CORE, art history majors apply for summer-, semester- or year-long internships at major museums and arts organizations. Examples include the Quad Cities’ Figge Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

• All Augustana students participate in a Senior Inquiry capstone project. For art history majors, the research culminates in a paper, public presentation and/or curated exhibition — excellent preparation for graduate school and careers in art history.

Lauren Clapp, Sydney Gilbert, Dr. Catherine Goebel

Art history majors Lauren Clapp and Sydney Gilbert researched in London and Glasgow with faculty mentor Dr. Catherine Goebel, professor of art history. They presented their research at the Midwest Art History Society conference.

Recent grads

Riley Scranton Bale '23 is a resident teaching artist through ArtistYear AmeriCorps in Moore County, N.C.

Jordyn Strange '21 is the digital media specialist at the Putnam Museum and Science Center in Davenport, Iowa.

Monica Thompson  ’21 is studying art law at Saint Louis University Law School in St. Louis, Mo.

Jessamine Burch ‘20 is a social media specialist for the Division of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Teddy Gonzales ‘20 is a digital strategist at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Ian Murrin ‘20 is a freelance photographer and studio assistant at JohnsonRauhoff Studio.

Lauren Clapp  ’19 is a transplant patient navigator at University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City.

Carli Hogan  ’17 is a dentist at Goebel Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Moline, Ill.

Samantha Turner  ’15 Lundeen is the director of marketing and events at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, Chicago.

Elisa Wynn
More Than I Imagined Elisa Wynn
“Working closely with Dr. Morse, Dr. Goebel and Vickie Phipps over the years has been a great privilege.”
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matt bowman
More Than I Imagined Matt Bowman
“I came in pre-med, but art history made me realize that medicine was not my passion. Thank God for the liberal arts!”
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Monica Thompson
More Than I Imagined Monica Thompson
“I am grateful for Dr. Morse in the art history department who has guided me each year, helped me choose my SI topic and assisted with law school applications.”
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