MSU Denver

Explore Art at MSU Denver:

If you are fascinated by art from other times and places and want to understand its impact on society, you will find the Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Theory, and Criticism program a comprehensive, inclusive, an inspiring curriculum. The program emphasizes the study of diverse visual traditions and their social contexts. Here you will find courses in a wide variety of topics and formats ranging from ancient to contemporary, Western to non-Western, and lecture-based classes to small seminars.

Our faculty is committed to introducing students to the most current theoretical approaches and helping them develop skills in visual analysis, critical thinking, and effective writing. You can enhance your experience by taking part in study-abroad programs in Italy, Spain, England, or Latin America. As a liberal arts degree, the Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Theory, and Criticism prepares students for a variety of careers in and outside of arts-related fields as well as potential graduate study.


Program of Study

As a major in Art History, Theory, and Criticism, you will begin your studies by taking the foundation courses that are common to all majors in the Department of Art. From there, you will take a course devoted to developing your writing and critical reading skills, ARTH 2600 Reading and Writing Visual Culture. Additional beginning-level studio classes will provide you with an appreciation for the practice of making art and engaging in the critique process. After taking a variety of upper-level art history electives in topics—such as Art of the Ancient Andes, Roman Art, Northern Renaissance Art, or Art of the 1960s—you will finish with a seminar in Art Theory and Criticism and your Senior Experience. In the Senior Experience, you will complete a thesis on a topic of your choice and present it in a professional setting at the Student Symposium in Art History, Theory, and Criticism. Art history students also take foreign language courses to prepare them for future graduate studies and travel to other countries.

Graduating students earning the BA in Art History, Theory and Criticism liberal arts degree should be able to:

  • Locate and synthesize a range of scholarly sources of sufficient breadth and depth to thoroughly investigate an art historical problem.
  • Apply appropriate art historical methods and theoretical frameworks to analyze an art historical problem.
  • Develop and support a clear, logical thesis derived from an art historical study that is eloquently articulated in both oral and written formats.


At MSU Denver you will find an abundance of opportunities to gain experience and prepare for a possible career in the arts and graduate study. You may choose to join the Art Guild to network with other students and plan events such as the annual juried student art show. Or you may serve an internship in one of the many local galleries, museums, and nonprofit organizations devoted to the arts. The Center for Visual Art, MSU Denver’s off-campus gallery, also provides work-study employment opportunities.



The Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Theory and Criticism provides students with a well?rounded liberal arts education suitable for a variety of careers including, but not limited to, galleries and museums. The degree also prepares students for graduate studies in art history, theory and criticism and advanced scholarly research.

Professor teaching art history

Download Degree Requirements:

Art History, Theory and Criticism Major, BA


Leila Armstrong

Leila Armstrong

Visiting Faculty - Art History, Theory and Criticism

[email protected] 303-615-1146
Jillian Mollenhauer

Jillian Mollenhauer, Ph.D.

Professor - Art History, Theory and Criticism

[email protected] 303-615-0877
Deanne Pytlinski

Deanne Pytlinski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Art History, Theory and Criticism

[email protected] 303-615-1026
Summer Trentin

Summer Trentin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Art History, Theory and Criticism

[email protected] 303-615-1253
Jessica Weiss

Jessica Weiss, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Art History, Theory and Criticism Program Coordinator

[email protected] 303-615-1293