Art Humanities

The art humanities core courses are designed to awaken and encourage in students an appreciation of art, to help them learn to respond intelligently to a variety of artistic genres by developing analytical skills and a conceptual framework for interpretation, and to engage students in debates about the character and purpose of art throughout human history.

GS students must fulfill the art humanities requirement by taking one of the following: 

Note: If the art humanities requirement is fulfilled with Masterpieces of Western Art (UN1121) or an approved, equivalent transfer course, students should not take Barnard Art History 1001 or 1002, as this constitutes a duplication of coursework and thus would not count toward the GS degree.

Exemption from the Art Humanities Requirement

Although all Columbia students are required to take Art Humanities, there are some students who may obtain an exemption by filing a course substitution request.

Students who have taken a similar art course passed with a grade of B or higher at another college or university may submit a course exemption request. Exemption is given only for courses substantially equivalent to Art Humanities (seminar-style classes, with an emphasis on analytical viewing and historical-cultural context), not for lecture courses. While exemption from Art Humanities is rarely granted, in the past students petitioning on the basis of similar courses taken at Emory University, New York University, CUNY-Baruch College, Hampshire College, and Sarah Lawrence College have been granted an exemption.

Students who wish to request exemption based on course substitution must obtain an Art Humanities Exemption Request form from the Core Curriculum Office (202 Hamilton) or the GS Dean of Students Office. Exemption must be requested during the student’s first semester at Columbia. Petitions submitted in subsequent semesters will not be considered by the Core Curriculum Office. Deadlines: November 1 for Fall matriculates, March 1 for Spring matriculates.