Studying Art at Simmons University means that Boston is your classroom. We are surrounded by world class museums and musical organizations. You will have classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, the unique Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and meet the professionals who work there.

Student working on a self portrait in art class

Studying art changes the way you see the world

You'll learn to navigate our visual world in a dynamic and meaningful way. And you'll gain the skills needed to research, experiment and solve problems creatively, no matter what your career.

Through art history, you'll develop an understanding of diverse cultures—past and present. In studio art, you will learn to express your own ideas visually. Or choose arts administration and prepare for roles in museums, performing arts groups and other cultural organizations.

The Department of Art & Music adds vibrancy to both the Simmons and Boston communities. See what's going on in the Trustman Art Gallery, and check our Student Portfolio site to see some recent work.

Our students go on to successful careers in museums, education, marketing, development and public relations. They become artists, doctors, professors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and designers.

Students are required to take 28 semester hours in Art. Students will choose an emphasis in Art (History) or Art (Studio). None of the seven courses for the major may be taken Pass/Fail. ART 100 does not count for the Art major.

Art History Track

  • Majors will complete FIVE Art History courses and TWO Studio Art courses.
  • There is no strict sequence in which art history courses must be taken, although the introductory courses ART 141 and ART 142 are normally taken first.
  • Required courses are:
    • Five courses in art history.
    • Two courses in studio art.
    • Take at least two 200 or 300 level art history courses.

Studio Art Track

  • Majors will complete FIVE Studio Art courses and TWO Art History courses. One of the two Art History courses must be Art 254 OR Art 244, the other course is an elective.
  • Studio Art courses must include at least TWO of the following: ART 111, ART 112, ART 138, and/or ART 139. This requirement cannot be fulfilled with both ART/COMM 138 & ART/COMM 139.
  • Three Studio Art courses are electives. TWO courses must be at the 200-level or above.

Required Courses

Take two courses out of four. Cannot be filled with both ART 138 and ART 139.
ART 111 Draw What You See 4
ART 112 Color Studio 4
ART 138 The Poetry of Photography 4
ART 139 Color Photography CSI 4

One of the two art history courses must be

ART 244 20th Century Art 4
ART 254 Contemporary Art 4

An art minor requires five courses. Students may emphasize either studio art or art history.

ART 100 is accepted for the art minor.

Art History:

Students must take four art history courses and one of the following studio art courses:

ART 111 Draw What You See 4
ART 112 Color Studio 4
ART 138 The Poetry of Photography 4
ART 139 Color Photography CSI 4

Studio Art:

Students must take one art history course plus four studio art courses, one of which must be from the list below. Two courses must be at the 200 level or above.

ART 111 Draw What You See 4
ART 112 Color Studio 4
ART 138 The Poetry of Photography 4
ART 139 Color Photography CSI 4

ART 100 is accepted for the art minor.

We encourage students to augment their art and music courses with study in other disciplines and additional courses in the major. Dual-degrees, interdisciplinary programs and a wide range of minors are also available. Each student works with an advisor to develop a coherent course program that will meet their educational goals.

The study of art leads to careers in a wide variety of fields, such as teaching, publishing, gallery and auction houses, museums, graphic design, marketing, painting and photography, In all of these areas, the major in art could profitably be combined with a major in another area, such as chemistry, biology, history, philosophy, management, communications or mathematics.

We also offer a minor in art for students pursuing other majors.

We prepare our students to be successful leaders in the exciting fields of art and music. You'll take advantage of internships at arts and cultural organizations in Boston and beyond, building your skills and résumé and learning from mentors in your field.

Our students fulfill their independent learning and internship requirements in a variety of ways, including recent placements in:

  • Museum of Fine Arts: Education Department
  • Museum of Fine Arts: Islamic Art Department
  • The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • The Boston Ballet

Recent positions of our alumnae include:

  • Professor of art history
  • Development professional at WGBH public television
  • Program developer at Boston Museum of Science
  • Artist-in-Residence at MIT's Broad Institute
  • Graduate students at Massachusetts College of Art, University of Texas, and University of Nebraska

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

Offered As
  • Major
  • Minor
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Our Faculty

Helen Popinchalk photo

Helen Popinchalk

  • Assistant Teaching Professor and Director, Trustman Art Gallery and University Art Collection