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Art Humanities

About Art Humanities

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Glossary of Terms


Over 30 sections of Art Humanities are taught each semester, and each section has an individualized syllabus based on the main units indicated above. Individual instructors set the requirements for their class; their syllabi are available through CourseWorks.

History of Art Hum

The Core Curriculum is the centerpiece of the first two years of undergraduate study at Columbia. It entails four required courses-Contemporary Civilization, Literature Humanities, Music and Art Humanities-which focus on masterpieces of western civilization and build upon the notion, as Lionel Trilling put it, that "there is a certain minimum of our intellectual and spiritual tradition which a man must experience and understand if he is to be called educated." By now the Core is so well established that we easily forget its radical roots as a grand experiment in undergraduate education. Before World War I Columbia College had been overshadowed by the University's graduate and professional schools, and its educational mission was undefined. Rejecting the emphasis on pre professional training, the College forged a new identity after the war based on a liberal arts curriculum.

History of Art Humanities on the Department of Art History and Archaeology Website