Skip to main content

Art History

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

Visit Apply

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 Western art—topping at about 25 students—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 in The Augustana Teaching Museum of Art, 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 college-level teaching; gallery or museum directing or curating; museum education, art conservation, arts advocacy, visual resource centers, auction houses, historic preservation or publishing.

See also our programs in art and graphic design.

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 The Augustana Teaching Museum of Art, 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 towards 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 and public presentation—excellent preparation for graduate school and careers in art history. Some majors also conduct research facilitated by the department’s Paul A. Anderson Chair in the Arts.

Lauren Clapp, Sydney Gilbert, Dr. Catherine Goebel

Senior art history majors Lauren Clapp and Sydney Gilbert researched in London and Glasgow with faculty mentor Dr. Catherine Goebel, professor of art history and director of the Centre for Whistler Criticism. They presented their research at the Midwest Art History Society conference in spring 2019.

Recent grads

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

Lauren Clapp ’19 is a behavioral health coordinator at University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City, Iowa.

Comet Blecha ’18 is a designer and project manager at Plant Next Door in New York City.

Carli Hogan ’17 attends dental school at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.

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

Sarah Berndt ’15 is the collections and education coordinator for the Porter County Museum in Valparaiso, Ind.

Elizabeth Jakaitis ’14 is the managing editor of The Elks Magazine in Chicago.

Liv Reinacher ’14 is the manager of art projects bei Landratsamt Augsburg In Augsburg, Germany.

Matt Bowman ’11 is pursuing his Ph.D. in art history, criticism and conservation, at the University of Iowa.

live reinacher
More Than I Imagined Liv Reinacher
“I used my Augie Choice to travel to Greece with the Classics and the art history departments.”
Read More Directional Arrow Directional arrow
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 liberal arts!”
Read More Directional Arrow Directional arrow
jordan kirkbride
More Than I Imagined Jordan Kirkbride
“Augustana helped me to realize that it’s actually cool to care about 'nerdy' stuff like history and art because you can make a career out of whatever you’re passionate about.”
Read More Directional Arrow Directional arrow

25th Frieze Lectures: Ideas That Changed Us

Augustana College faculty will present "Ideas That Changed Us" in the annual Frieze Lectures at the Rock Island Public Library.


Students discover new perspectives, friends and adventures on travels abroad

Dozens of Augustana students experienced a new culture during the 2022 spring semester and earlier this summer. Find out which Italian sandwich shop now displays an Augustana pennant.

Amanda Gravelle

Physics scholarship winner loves figuring out how things work

Junior Amanda Gravelle has been awarded a $5,000 Rossing Physics Scholarship. She is one of only 14 exemplary physics students nationwide to receive the award.