Julie Van Voorhis
History of Art
Fine Arts 129
1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific
person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?
Each department of the School administers its program independently, e.g.
Art History has a single faculty member in charge of all Art History
honors students. Studio, on the other hand, has a faculty member from
each discipline act as advisor.
2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program?
How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend
Art History: History of Art Honors Program
The Fine Arts Honors program in History of Art is designed to provide
outstanding students opportunities to pursue creative independent study
and research. To be considered, a student must maintain a grade point
average of 3.5 in History of Art and 3.3 overall. The core of the
program is an honors thesis, A499, normally written during the senior
year under the supervision of a faculty member in history of art. This
course work is in addition to the 30 hours required of the regular
major. Preparation for the thesis will normally include a bibliographic
tutorial. Eligible and interested students should
consult the chairman of the history of art honors program.
Studio: Major in Studio-B.F.A.
This program is designed to meet the needs of exceptional students
desiring intensive studio experience within the context of the liberal
arts. They must have demonstrated superior ability and motivation in a
particular studio discipline. Admission to the B.F.A. program in any
studio area is subject to a portfolio review, judgment of grades, and a
personal interview with the faculty of that area. Applications are not
considered until students have had at least one 300-level course in the
area to which application is made.
3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?
Studio: The student is awarded the BFA degree.
Art History: A student must be accepted into the honors program (usually
at the end of the junior year) and complete an honors thesis (usually
during the spring semester of the senior year) with a grade of A- or
above. Honors students are also expected to maintain a grade point
average of 3.5 in Art History and 3.3 overall.
4. What courses do students take as juniors and before in order to
prepare for working on the senior project? How are these honors seminars
and courses typically conducted? What are the usual requirements in
Studio: There are special courses in fine arts for our honors (BFA)
students. These courses are listed in the COAS bulletin. Each
discipline has a special course number, e.g. ceramics is S462 BFA
ceramics, painting is S432 BFA painting, etc.
Art History: Courses are selected in consultation with the student's
advisor. A499 (honors thesis) is taken in the senior year.
5. What is the nature of the senior project and what are the
requirements for completing it?
Studio: The senior project in studio is a comprehensive exhibition of the
student's work. The exhibition is reviewed by the faculty of the area.
Art History: A499 is normally taken during the spring semester of the
senior year, under the supervision of the thesis advisor. The student
meets regularly with the advisor throughout the semester. A draft of the
honors essay is submitted to the advisor and second reader by later
March; the finished version, incorporated both reader's suggestion by
mid-April. To earn honors, the paper must receive a grade of A- or above.
6. Are there departmental resources available to support internships or
research projects related to the senior project?
The studio area has one $800 scholarship available to BFA students. This
is a competitive award and based on merit only. Other than this award,
Fine Arts has few resources to support honors students.
7. How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly
beneficial in future endeavors?
The BFA program is particularly well suited for those individuals who
wish to pursue graduate study in fine arts. It enables a student to
develop his/her artistic capabilities to the fullest. Students are also
instructed in how to create a portfolio of their work in order to apply
to graduate school.
The Art History Honors Program gives students the opportunity to develop
their research and creative writing skills, and to get a taste of what it
is like to carry out advanced research. These skills are particularly
useful for students planning to pursue graduate work in the History of
8. What are the advantages for students who pursue the honors degree
compared to a regular degree in your area?
Studio: Advantages include much more individual attention from faculty,
many more hours of studio art and art history, private and/or
semi-private studio space, involvement within a community of motivated
and committed art students.
Art History: A student may achieve a higher level of proficiency and
professionalism at an accelerated rate as well as investigate special