Honors and Independent Study

Consider pursuing an independent study or honors project in a topic that interests you.
Student pointing at artwork hanging on wall

Independent Study

Art history majors and minors may pursue independent projects for regular course credit. Working with a faculty member, students have designed courses of study that allow them to read widely in an area not covered in the current curriculum or to pursue a topic from their formal coursework in greater depth. Independent work can sometimes form the basis for an honors thesis.


Who May Apply?

Permission to try for honors in art history is reserved for students with distinguished academic records in the department. To earn honors, a student must produce a substantial paper that reflects serious scholarship and makes an original contribution to knowledge in the field.

Students who seek honors should be working in an area previously studied in a course, and with an art history faculty advisor with whom the student has already worked. The advisor should have a background in the chosen area of study strong enough to oversee the proposed project.

Financial Assistance

Students who may need some financial assistance in completing the honors thesis should make this need known to the faculty member supervising the honors project.

Recent honors theses have included studies of a Renaissance book of hours in the Bowdoin College Special Collections, avant-garde Japanese calligraphy, Berthe Morisot's portraits, Yves Tanguy's late work, and Orozco's murals.


Honors projects must be approved by the full art history faculty and carried out according to the following schedule: