The program in art provides experiences in the practice and history of the visual arts, serving a major and minors in art, with possible specializations in art history, and in the various media. The department provides the non-art concentrator opportunities to think in non-linear ways, and to stretch problem solving skills in the search for multiple solutions. For those to whom they are goals, the program attempts to prepare students for careers as exhibiting artists or as professional art historians. Art coursework has application to skills and abilities necessary for related fields, such as commercial art, architecture, and arts management. Those skills and abilities are found to be very desirable in career fields seemingly remote from the fine arts.
The program in art history provides experiences in the analysis and interpretation of works of visual art within their historical contexts. The curriculum supports a minor in art history, a specialization in art history within the art major, and independent majors concentrating in art history. The program is presently limited to Western art. Through its points of contact with literature, history, philosophy, religion, economics, music, biology, political science, and physics, art history builds bridges between the visual arts and disciplines practiced in numerous departments across the Austin College campus. The critical skills students develop and practice through speaking and writing are transferable to other disciplines.