The Department's Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) is an opportunity for qualified undergraduates to undertake substantial, independent research projects while working closely with department faculty. Participants are prepared for advanced independent research and analysis by a required seminar in art historical theory, methods, and historiography. The program culminates in the submission of a DMP thesis, a significant piece of original scholarship between fifty and ninety pages in length. Students who successfully complete the program receive departmental honors, with a degree of Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction in art history.
Students should meet with the director of the Distinguished Majors Program by the end of the fall semester of their third year to discuss their interest in applying for admission to the program. In the spring of their third year, prospective program participants should enroll in ARTH 4051, Art History: Theory and Practice. This seminar introduces students to essential conceptual and methodological approaches to art history and includes a library research practicum. A formal application for admission to the program should be submitted to the director of the Distinguished Majors Program in the spring of the third year. To apply, students must have the approval of a faculty member who has agreed to direct their research. A GPA of at least 3.4 in the major and an overall GPA of at least 3.4 are required for admission. In addition to a completed application form, applicants must submit a statement and project proposal, preliminary bibliography, writing sample, and academic transcript.
In their fourth year, students in the program are required to enroll in six credits of Undergraduate Thesis coursework with their faculty advisor. ARTH 4998 is taken in the Fall semester and ARTH 4999 in the Spring semester. Once theses are submitted, a committee of department faculty determines degrees of distinction. This evaluation depends above all on the level of accomplishment the thesis has attained, considered in tandem with the students' overall performance in the major. In the case that a thesis fails to meet departmental standards, a determination of no distinction may be made. The committee passes on its recommendations to the Committee on Special Programs. For more information, please contact the director of the Distinguished Majors Program.