The study of the history of art at UVM usually begins with courses surveying the broad range of visual expressions found in cultures around the world. Students are introduced to numerous methodological approaches—contextual, formal, and iconographic—which enable them to understand the richness and layered meanings of works of art. For those who choose to major in this humanistic discipline, mastery of a foreign language, usually French or German, through the intermediate level, and at least two courses in studio art, provide additional tools useful in responding skillfully to works of art.
UVM art history majors have continued their studies in art history at the graduate level and are now teaching at such major universities as Columbia, Duke, and Stanford. Others have assumed professional positions in museums, auction houses, publishing and related fields. Still others have combined their studies in art history with postgraduate study in areas such as law or library science and have continued into careers combining these preparations. Some have used the major as a way to sharpen their analytical skills in thinking and creative problem solving and have then gone on to pursue seemingly unrelated careers in fields such as medicine or business. No matter what path they have followed after graduation, most students have commented on the quality of the art history program at UVM noting how it has enriched their lives and sharpened their visual responses to the world around them.