Art History and Visual Culture Studies

Off-Campus Studies Mission Statement

Off-Campus Studies at Whitman College aims to develop in our students intercultural skills and global understanding for a lifetime of leadership.  We endeavor to achieve this goal by:

  • Providing off-campus study opportunities worldwide that offer high-quality academic content, instruction and evaluation.
  • Expanding learning opportunities for students and integrating the learning off-campus into their academic program to the fullest extent possible.
  • Promoting programs that increase a student’s foreign language and intercultural fluency.
  • Offering programs that foster an ability to question assumptions and think critically in the context of other worldviews.
  • Ensuring that programs are well integrated into the host community and encourage immersion of the student into the host culture. 
  • Developing the means by which returning students can actively contribute to international awareness and programming on campus, as well as in the Walla Walla community.

Off-Campus Studies can help Art History & Visual Culture Studies students…

  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Develop awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Gain research skills from field studies or encounters with primary sources

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Art History & Visual Culture Studies department?

  • Study Center abroad for U.S. students
  • Direct enrollment in a foreign university with local students
  • Field study programs with opportunities to engage in research with the local community

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Art History & Visual Culture Studies prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • By taking alternative courses not offered at Whitman, students are able to enhance their academic experience and to widen their interests.
  • Language skills are essential for graduate school in art history and for other career opportunities.
  • Credit-bearing internships through OCS can aid students in trying an art history-related career and in networking.

Which requirements can Art History & Visual Culture Studies majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Planning Tips

As a general rule of thumb, the Art History & Visual Culture Studies Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • Before studying off campus students should complete ARTH 103 Introduction to Art History and Visual Culture Studies plus two or three ARTH courses at the 200-level or 300-level.
  • ARTH majors may opt to study off campus in either the fall or the spring semester.
  • Students going abroad should be aware that the oral senior exams in Art History & Visual Culture Studies are based only on courses completed at Whitman and not based on OCS courses.

Credit Limitations

The maximum number of courses that can be applied to the Art History & Visual Culture Studies major from off-campus studies (including credits from other U.S. institutions) is two courses with the approval of your major adviser.

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Art History & Visual Culture Studies department?

The art history department recommends that students either enroll in programs in which they can study art history and visual culture (especially history of architecture courses) or attend a program in which the focus is language acquisition, because languages are required for graduate studies in art history.

A partial list of programs offering art history courses is as follows:

  • IES Vienna:  European Society and Culture (Austria)
  • Syracuse in Florence (Italy)
  • University of East Anglia (Norwich, England)
  • IES Paris:  French Studies (France)
  • DIS Danish Institute for Study Abroad (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Advising Support

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.