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Art History

The study of the visual arts prepares students for the global, connected, and dynamically changing world of the twenty-first century. Students of art history place art in its comprehensive historical context, assess art and the field of art history critically and analytically, master research, writing, and presentation skills, and foster community engagement in art through outreach and education. By examining works of art from multiple perspectives, students develop an appreciation for diverse cultures and the vital role that art plays in human expression across time and space.


The successful graduate in Art History will be able to:

  • Situate works of art in their historical and cultural contexts. 
  • Analyze and critique works of art based on form, content, and medium.
  • Critique the history of the discipline of art history and its related methods.
  • Engage significant issues and debates in the field through critical thinking, research, writing, and oral presentation.
  • Practice scholarly integrity and the professional code of ethics regarding art, the art market, cultural heritage, and museology.
  • Demonstrate understanding and appreciation of diversity as visualized in art.
  • Foster community engagement in the arts through outreach and arts education.

The Frederick R. Weisman Museum

The Weisman is an on-campus museum that offers exhibitions of historic and contemporary art by internationally recognized artists and also offers students a chance to gain firsthand experience in museum work.

Art History Student Society

The Art History Student Society is a student run organization that offers opportunities throughout the year to explore Los Angeles' artistic resources while enhancing student collegiality and success through a variety of programs, including a Career Night.

Art History Lecture Series

The Art History Lecture Series invites prominent scholars to present their research on a variety of art historical and archaeological subjects. Offered several times throughout the year, the lectures introduce students to current scholarship and career paths in art history.

Service Learning in Art History

As part of their coursework, students work with children from local schools to present interactive lessons that foster an appreciation of art and archaeology. Service projects provide valuable opportunities for students to synthesize and apply their knowledge of art history while serving the needs of the community.


The Pepperdine University campus is conveniently located in the greater Los Angeles area near world class art institutions such as the Getty, the Huntington Library and Gardens, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Norton Simon Museum, and Christie's Auction House.[CC1]  Our central location allows students to gain firsthand experience through visits, hands-on seminars with museum curators, and internships. Internships are strongly encouraged and supported. Here are just some of the institutions where our students have interned:


Ranked number one in the nation for student participation in international programs, we strongly believe that overseas experiences are an essential dimension of a liberal arts education.

Pepperdine international programs are located in:

Studying abroad is an excellent complement to a degree in Art History, as there is no greater learning experience than to view art firsthand in its cultural context.


The study of Art History prepares students for a variety of careers in museums, galleries, auction houses, education, research, conservation, preservation, art-related non-profits, publishing, and more. A B.A. in Art History is also excellent preparation for graduate programs in archaeology, art business, conservation, architecture, museum studies, museum education, library science, and historic preservation. Art History majors are highly competitive for professional programs in law, business, and arts management.