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The goal of the Department is to develop the student's critical understanding of visual culture in both art historical and archaeological contexts. Undergraduates are offered a diverse selection of courses in the art and archaeology of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Students are encouraged to supplement their art-historical and archaeological studies with courses in other fields, to participate in internships at local museums and galleries, and to take advantage of Maryland's study abroad programs. Students with GPAs of 3.5 or higher and who have completed a minimum of 60 credits may apply to the Department's honors program.
The location of the University between Washington and Baltimore gives students the opportunity to use some of the finest museum and archival collections in the world for their coursework and independent research. Curator/professors, exhibitions in the Art Gallery and Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland, and the extensive use of study collections bring regional and distant museums into the classroom.
The Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture is a new facility in the Department that includes a comprehensive suite of technology to encourage and promote new understandings through visualization. Undergraduate classes meet in the Collaboratory for special presentations and workshops, and students often attend departmental functions in the space. Undergraduates also make extensive use of the Art Library located in the Art/Sociology Building. In addition to the University's excellent libraries, students can use the resources of the Library of Congress and other major area archives.