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SLU Art History Program

Art isn't static. It requires creators, patrons and viewers with active bodies and minds to examine it critically.

Staying true to this principle, art history students at Saint Louis University explore the discipline from multiple angles and through varying lenses. As practitioners in an interdisciplinary field, SLU students use tools from the humanities — history, music, philosophy and theology, among others — to enrich their studies.

A student and professor bend over a table looking at a manuscript

Art History Degree Options

Classroom Experience

SLU’s art history program explores art's cultural, historical and social contexts. Through close examination of prominent periods and producers, our students develop the critical analysis, research and communication skills necessary for success in careers in the arts and other professional fields.

However, we don't limit the student experience to the classroom.

Our students take advantage of the active arts community at the University and in the St. Louis area. Three museums on campus alone — the Historic Samuel Cupples House, the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA) and the Saint Louis University Museum of Art — offer students a chance to interact with the artists and periods they discover.


The art history program offers small scholarships to help cover the tuition of our majors. These are available for both new and continuing students. Any art history major is eligible to apply, with priority given to students who demonstrate engagement with the major program. 

The Maurice B. McNamee Endowed Scholarship Fund also benefits students in Art History. The art history faculty give small awards to continuing students with exceptional academic records.

The deadline for these scholarships is February 1. Contact the Art History Program Director Bradley Bailey, Ph.D., for more information at

Art History Internships

SLU’s art history program offers internship opportunities in St. Louis and nationwide, including positions at prominent galleries and museums. As interns, our students work within the professional art scene.

Outside the classroom, SLU’s art history majors learn firsthand what a career in the arts can hold — preparing exhibitions, curating collections, and even preparing and presenting lectures and tours for the public.

Breidenbach Internship

The Breidenbach Internship allows one student each semester to work at the Samuel Cupples House at Saint Louis University. Students perform a variety of duties, including research assistance and exhibition preparation.

Breidenbach interns expand upon their classroom studies, building a knowledge base of skills essential to a career in the arts, including:

  • Curatorial studies
  • Exhibition implementation
  • Collection management
  • Museum practices and administration

With the assistance of the Cupples House director, students receive a semester project tailored to their unique interests and long-term career goals. Past interns have worked on documentaries about Andy Warhol and prepared informational materials for self-guided tours, among other curatorial, development and education projects.

To qualify for this competitive internship, candidates must be declared art history majors in their third or fourth year of study and have shown an interest in a career in the visual arts.

For more information on the Breidenbach Internship, contact Bradley Bailey at

Program Mission Statement

The Art History Program at SLU fosters a vibrant academic community of faculty and students. Art history faculty are engaged in research, publishing, curating, and collaboration. We connect with students through small class sizes, individualized mentoring, and an inclusive environment. Our courses cover a wide range of historical and contemporary issues in the arts of the world, past and present. Students can major or minor at our campuses in Madrid and St. Louis. Both cities offer exciting opportunities for internships, participation in community service, and access to world-class art.