History of Art and Architecture

The Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University offers the broadest range of courses available in North America today. The faculty offers courses covering the diverse historical and cultural geographies of the world—as well as their points of intersection, dialogue, and exchange—in the fields of African, American, Ancient (Near East, Greek, and Roman), architectural history and theory, Baroque and Rococo, Byzantine, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Japanese, Latin American/Pre-Columbian, Medieval, modern and contemporary, photography, and the Renaissance (Northern and Southern). The scope of art and architecture studied is matched in variety by both approaches and methods of study. The secondary field is structured to provide students with a balance between introductory and advanced courses of instruction and to promote understanding of the world's art traditions present and past. The secondary field offers students an opportunity to explore their interest in the history of art and architecture in the broadest of possible terms, or equally to pursue a focused academic interest for its own sake or that complements a course of study in their primary concentration. Courses of study are enhanced by direct access to the collections of the Harvard University Art Museums.

Requirements: 6 half-courses

  1. Three half-courses from the lower level of department offerings, selected from the catalogue range HAA 1 to 89 (these may include Freshman Seminars, General Education, and Core Curriculum courses offered by our faculty; and cross-listed courses).

  2. Three half-courses from the upper level of department offerings, selected from the catalogue numbers of the HAA 100-200 range. (Students wishing to enroll in a 200-level seminar must request the instructor's permission.)

Of the 6 half-courses, a balance must be achieved chronologically before or after the year 1700 C.E. by a ratio of 2:4 or 4:2.

Other Information

In addition to Freshman Seminars, General Education, and Core Curriculum courses taught by History of Art and Architecture faculty, Harvard Summer School courses in the history of art and architecture may also count towards secondary field credit. There is no grade minimum for courses to count towards the secondary field but, with the exception of Freshman Seminars, courses must be taken for a letter grade. Students pursuing a secondary field will not be given preferential access to limited enrollment courses, which in our concentration are generally undergraduate pro-seminars and seminars for graduate students. In limited enrollment courses, instructors will decide whether or not a secondary field student is admitted to their course based on such factors as their level of preparation, stated interest, and/or need.

Advising Resources and Expectations

Students pursuing the secondary field in History of Art and Architecture are strongly advised to inform the department using the secondary fields web tool and to seek academic advising from the director of undergraduate studies before embarking upon this course of study. Students should contact the director of undergraduate studies by email and meet to discuss their academic interest and objectives. The initial meeting could occur at any stage after the concentration choice has been made, but ideally in the student's fourth or fifth semester. Academic advising and general mentoring in the course of secondary field study will also be provided by the director of undergraduate studies and his or her assistant at the student's request. The director of undergraduate studies is Prof. Jennifer Roberts; the coordinator of undergraduate studies is Tom Batchelder (tbatchel@fas.harvard.edu, 495-2310).