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SLU Art History Program

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

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, they use tools from the humanities  — history, music, philosophy and theology, among others — to enrich their studies.

Art History Degree Options

Classroom Experience

 SLU’s art history program explores the cultural, historical and social contexts of art. 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.

But 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 surrounding St. Louis area. There are 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 —  that offer students a chance to interact with the artists and periods they discover.

Art History Internships

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

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

Breidenbach Internship

The Breidenbach Internship allows one student each semester to work with 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 of Andy Warhol and have prepared informational materials for self-guided tours, among other curatorial and development/education projects.

To be eligible for this competitive internship, candidates must be a declared major in art history 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 Deborah Douglas at

Program Mission Statement

Art history is a recognized interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, research-based area that defines its goal to expand students' experiences in visual culture through a variety of technology in order to prepare each for future studies in art history and beyond.

As an academic discipline at Saint Louis University, a Jesuit institution, the faculty of the art history program teach the essential humanities skills of critical analysis, research, and communication through artworks from around the world, past and present. Both majors and non-majors learn to understand artworks and monuments, from all faiths and cultures, through examination of the social and historical context in which art was and continues to be created.