Liberal Arts Division

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THAD Concentration

Undergraduate Concentration in Theory + History of Art + Design

RISD offers art history courses that span a wide range of cultures, media and time periods. The College offers a 24-credit undergraduate concentration in Theory + History of Art + Design designed for students who wish to complement their studio major with in-depth studies in art history, theory, criticism and museum studies. The undergraduate THAD concentration can be completed within a 4 or 5-year degree program. All RISD BFA candidates are eligible to add this concentration to their program of study. Interested students should contact the Theory + History of Art + Design Concentration Coordinator, Foad Torshizi (401 277-4976 / torshizi@risd.edu), and complete the concentration declaration form.

Typically, concentrators meet or communicate with the concentration coordinator once or twice a year to discuss course options and to update their records. As part of the process, THAD concentrators may pre-register for Theory + History of Art + Design courses that will be used for the concentration. The concentration coordinator will contact all concentrators with the relevant instructions shortly before the official registration period; this option is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.

Curriculum Requirements for an Undergraduate Concentration in Theory + History of Art + Design
(8 courses = 24 credits)

  1. Introduction to the Theory and History of Art & Design (2 courses/6 credits)
    History of Art + Visual Culture I (HAVC – H101)
    History of Art + Visual Culture II (HAVC – H102)

  2. Theory & Methods (1 course/3 credits)
    Choose 1 THAD course in this topic area

  3. HAVC Electives (5 courses/15 credits)
    Choose 5 THAD courses, at least 2 of which must be seminars

Total: 8 courses (24 credits)

Note:

  • All Theory + History of Art + Design courses are labeled “HAVC.” As of Fall 2019 all courses labeled “HAVC” with be changed to “THAD.”
  • Concentrators may need to take two courses in at least two Wintersessions to complete concentration requirements.
  • Certain HPSS and Literary Arts and Studies courses may fulfill concentration requirements. If used for that purpose, they may not also be counted for HPSS or LAS credits.
  • Liberal Arts electives may be applied towards the concentration.
  • Enrollment in the EHP (European Honors Program) in Rome fulfills one HAVC course in prehistory through 18th century.

Graduate Concentration in Theory and History of Art + Design

The Theory + History of Art + Design graduate concentration offers the opportunity to augment an MFA with a 15-credit art history concentration. Knowledge of the histories and theories of art and visual culture is increasingly demanded of artists and designers, and THAD has designed this concentration in recognition of this phenomenon and that MFA, MLA, MAT and MID recipients often enter teaching careers in which they are expected to teach history and theory as well as studio classes. The concentration offers a structured curriculum in the history, theory and criticism of Western art, as well as that of cultures throughout the world. These studies are enriched by ready access to the collections of the RISD Museum of Art and the experience of its curatorial staff. Through the concentration, you may choose to focus on the history and theory of your particular studio discipline.

Any Liberal Arts graduate degree requirements and certain graduate courses offered within the individual programs may be incorporated in the credits necessary to complete the concentration.  All master’s degree candidates are eligible to add this concentration to their program of study. Interested students should contact the Theory + History of Art + Design Concentration Coordinator, Foad Torshizi (401 277-4976 / torshizi@risd.edu), and complete the THAD Graduate Concentration Form.

Typically, concentrators meet or communicate with the concentration coordinator at least twice a year to discuss course options and to update their records. As part of the process, THAD concentrators may preregister for Theory + History of Art + Design courses that will be used for the concentration. The concentration coordinator will contact all concentrators with the relevant instructions shortly before the official registration period; this option is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.

Curriculum Requirements for a Graduate Concentration in Theory + History of Art + Design (5 courses = 15 credits)

  1. Methodology/Historiography/Theory (2 courses/6 credits)
    Choose 2 THAD courses in this topic area

  2. Specialization (3 courses/9 credits)
    To be selected based on a study plan discussed and developed with the THAD concentration coordinator. At least 6 credits of the 9 to be taken as THAD seminars

Total: 5 courses (15 credits)