Undergraduate Studies

Art history trains us to make our way in a world saturated with images. It equips us to think critically about the visual culture that mediates our understanding of the past, present and future.

At SMU, art history takes an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to learning. Students work closely with faculty in small-class settings as they learn about the relationship of art to fields such as anthropology, sociology, music, dance, literature, science and engineering. Students study buildings, monuments, paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs, as well as maps, jewelry, fashion, movies, advertising and digital media. SMU is one of only two universities in the United States with fully developed curriculum on South and Central American art.

SMU art history professors closely mentor their students, offering help and guidance all along the way. Faculty connections with art institutions in the U.S., Mexico, South America and Europe are strong in ways that are helpful with networking and internships; opportunities are many.

Courses are designed to encourage students to question, probe and think across traditional categories and boundaries, and to move students outside their comfort zones.

Off-campus opportunities include semesters abroad in Italy at an archaeological dig; May and summer-term courses on the SMU Taos campus; working alongside Hispanic cultural preservationists in Dallas; on-site seminars in Dallas; abroad programs; and more.

Art History students enjoy unusually close proximity to world-class institutions such as the Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Museum of Art, the renowned Meadows Museum and more. The SMU campus is located only five miles from downtown Dallas, home to the country’s largest arts district.

Art History majors go on to careers in museums and galleries, as well as conservation, publishing, art law, cultural policy, urban design, teaching and non-profit management.

Learn more about the undergraduate programs of study in Art History:


See for yourself.

Schedule your visit to the SMU Meadows Art History Department