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Academic Program Requirements for the Honors Art Major and Minor

Landscape Painting class working outside.

Download a printable Art Requirements [pdf] here. 

Requirements for admission to honors do not differ from those for admission to the course major. Students will be expected to maintain an average of B or better in all courses in art. The honors art major is an 11-credit major with the additional credit (to the course major) added from the required two-credit art history seminar. All art majors are required to take 11 courses (nine credits of art courses and two credits of art history) to fulfill major requirements. Five art credits in a chosen medium will form an art concentration. Of these five courses, one will be the Senior Capstone. The areas of concentration are painting, 3D design, photography, and sculpture. In addition, all art majors will be required to take the two-credit course ARTT 101: Contemporary Art Practice Seminar.  ARTT 101 will be offered each Fall and should be taken in the senior year as a precursor to Senior Capstone. Additionally, students must complete two elective studio courses outside their area of concentration.  ALL PREPARATIONS FOR HONORS MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY THE DEPARTMENT. 


  • An honors major in art will present two preparations in art and one preparation in art history. The preparation in art history must be a two-credit seminar.
  • Each of the two art preparations will consist of two paired art courses. The examiner of each preparation will receive the syllabus for both courses and images representing the body of work produced in them, and will examine the student in an individual oral of 30 minutes.
  • Each pair of art courses can consist of an intermediate and an advanced course in a specific medium, OR two courses with a different approach to the same medium, OR two related courses.  
  • Art courses taken at an institution outside Swarthmore cannot count toward an honors studio preparation.
  • Only courses taught by regularly teaching faculty in art can be applied toward a preparation. Courses taught by regularly returning adjuncts might be applied pending department approval.
  • Honors preparations approved in the sophomore year must be adhered to. Any later changes to your program must be approved by the department. 
  • The prerequisite for any art history seminar is two previous credits in art history.
  • Honors candidates in art must fulfill the course major requirements.
  • Honors study in art consists of a culminating exhibition of the student’s studio work, with an accompanying artist essay of 3,750 to 5,000 words. Some of this work may figure in the selections of work presented for one or both of the course pairs described above, but the rationale for inclusion in the exhibition will differ. The artist essay will be sent to both examiners of studio preparations. A revision of a paper written previously for the art history preparation will be sent to the art history examiner.


  • An honors minor in art will present to the honors examiners one studio preparation, which must be a combination of the Senior Capstone and another related course.
  • An honors minor in art must fulfill the requirements for the course major in art.
  • During the spring semester of senior year, an honors minor will write a 2,500-word artist essay to be sent to the examiner, along with the relevant syllabi and slides for the two-credit preparation.