The study of the visual arts offers you a window into the human spirit. In this fascinating major, you’ll expand your capacity for creativity and critical thinking as you examine how human beings have expressed themselves visually across time, forms and cultures.

A hands-on program for a hands-on field

In small classes, you’ll work side-by-side with artists and experts in art history. You’ll create your own art in three different media— vital experience that will sharpen your ability to analyze and appreciate the work of others. You’ll develop your capacity for critical thinking and enlarge your cultural knowledge through a broad-based curriculum that includes the study of a foreign language and a deep dive into modern and contemporary art theory and criticism. You’ll examine and discuss amazing works of art and interact with visiting artists. This major is designed to prepare you for lifelong intellectual and professional competence.

More ways to learn—on campus and beyond

Practical experience is built into the curriculum. Our internships draw on Chicago’s lively gallery scene and world-class museums. We make our connections your connections, so you can test drive your dream job in the real world. You can combine academic study with compassionate service to people in need, in the Chicago area or around the world. We encourage you to take full advantage of the university’s outstanding study abroad program. Many art history students spend a summer in Florence, the center of the Italian Renaissance, taking studio courses in photography or drawing. The Semester in London Program combines an absorbing academic curriculum with ample opportunities for creative expression. It’s a perfect combination for art history students.

Natalie Bobrowska

Dominican Student

“The academic and professional opportunities at Dominican are amazing. I’ve been able to double major in art history and French and also to work at the Field Museum with the staff of
the anthropology collection. It’s inspired me to pursue a career as a museum professional.”

Expand your options

We encourage you to complete a minor or second major in a complementary field. You can choose from among 45 minors and more than 60 majors, including business, communications, fashion design, film studies, informatics and psychology. The art department offers minors in graphic design, painting and drawing, photo-cinema and sculpture.

Our campus is an art student’s natural habitat

You’ll take classes in our Digital Media Center, which features large-screen iMacs, a photo lightbox, flatbed and film scanners, and comfortable spaces to collaborate with faculty and fellow students. You’ll also enjoy ready access to spacious painting and drawing studios, traditional darkrooms and digital photo labs, a wood shop for ceramics and sculpture, and printmaking studios with great natural light. The O’Connor Art Gallery, steps away from our classrooms and studios in Lewis Hall, exhibits the work of contemporary artists of national renown who will introduce you to innovative artistic movements, strategies and techniques.

Show your stuff

If you’re interested in developing an original creative or research project, you can apply for special funding from the university, awarded on a competitive basis. You’ll enjoy faculty guidance and support throughout the process and even get a chance to present your work at an amazing campus expo in April. It’s all part of URSCI—the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Investigations Program—a distinctly Dominican initiative. URSCI also funds student travel to academic and professional conferences across the United States

Mike Harkovich

Dominican Graduate

“I definitely would recommend Dominican to anyone who is looking for a well-rounded liberal arts education at a smaller school that has a lot of artistic people. The faculty have an insane amount of experience. You’re around a lot of creative minds and you get a lot of support.”

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