North Central College - Naperville, IL

Art History

Why choose art history at North Central College?

You’ll be well on your way toward becoming one of the nation’s serious art scholars. This research-focused major fully prepares you for the graduate study you’ll need if you wish to pursue a career in museum curatorship, gallery management or teaching and research. You’ll focus on critical reading and interpretive skills while conducting graduate-level research—before you graduate. You’ll explore all the disciplines that inform art history, such as classical civilization and anthropology, religion and philosophy, and you’ll make the most of our proximity to the world-class art and architecture in downtown Chicago.

You can also:

  • Intern with local museums, studios, auction houses and galleries.
  • Enroll in Chicago Term to explore everything from museums to cemeteries to soup kitchens.
  • Apply for competitive talent scholarships in art.


North Central College presents “Ordinary,” an exhibit of new mixed media by artist Michael Barton, June 3 through July 24.
North Central College recognizes high-achieving students for academic and co-curricular excellence throughout their college careers on Honors Day.
Two gallery locations will feature artwork by 11 North Central College art students in the annual Senior Art Show through June 11.



  • Marketing intern, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago


Recent graduates in art history include:

  • Museum curators
  • Docents
  • Gallery managers
  • Publishers
  • Graphic designers
  • Architects
  • Historic preservationist
  • College professors
  • Teachers
Art History major

“I knew I wanted a degree with a focus in art history and to stay in the Chicago area. North Central College had a unique program and opportunities not offered anywhere else. I wanted small class sizes with professors who were passionate about what they taught. It was easy to see that at North Central.”

Several experiences have been key for Jessica. “Traveling on two D-Term trips to Rome and London gave me opportunities to see numerous works of art—a dream come true for any art history student. My travels also sparked an interest in art arrangement in public and private museums, which led to a museum studies project funded by a Richter grant. The college’s grant gave me the opportunity to...

Art History major

As an art history major at North Central, Rose is learning to fully comprehend and appreciate historic and modern works.

“My classes are both fascinating and challenging,” she says. “They have given me a new appreciation for art from every era, as well as more passion for modern and contemporary art.”

Rose interned at the State Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, earning course credit as she learned about the day-to-day operations of a popular museum.

“I spent a lot of time working with art curators and critics learning about everything from inventory to exhibition staging and restoration. I also was able to learn about the communist history of Russia,” she says.

After graduating, Rose...

Art History major

Kristen recently earned an internship at the  prestigious Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. It’s a plum position, especially for someone interested in contemporary and controversial art, and provides on-the-job experience, an inside look at museum operations, and plenty of professional connections. “I couldn’t have done this without my professors, who encouraged me to apply for the position,” says Kristen. “In fact, as part of my application I included two research papers I had written for class.”

Art History major

A transfer student, Marcy found the perfect fit for her interests in her hometown of Naperville. “I learned there was this beautiful place practically in my backyard. The timing was just right, too. North Central’s fine arts venues were newly opened and the arts programs were booming.”

Marcy found the advanced courses in art history enriching. “You explore art works within their social, political, philosophical and historical contexts, which makes it so much more interesting and academically challenging. Studying other artists allows you to develop your own concepts and helps you write your own artist’s statement.”

Her experiences at North Central included travel to Rome for a D-...