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Technical Art HistoryMajor

This is the first degree of its kind in the U.S., and brings together art, science and the humanities.


What is Technical Art History at WVU like?


Built for the curious and knowledge seekers, the Technical Art History major emphasizes the scientific study of structures of art and objects, within art historical contexts, and values hands-on experience in preventative art conservation, conservation and restoration of artifacts, and reconstruction techniques.

Students will conduct research on the physical nature of art and its making through interdisciplinary studies in art history, art, science, anthropology and more, depending on their areas of interest.

Technical Art History program highlights:

At a Glance

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Fast Facts

What makes Technical Art History at WVU unique?

Research and Academic Opportunities

Technical Art History is a major for curious students who learn to ask questions and conduct research in:

  • Art History (humanities)
  • Art (fine arts)
  • Science (chemistry and forensic and investigative science)
  • and potentially, Anthropology (social science)

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs)

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:


How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Technical art history majors will graduate well-equipped for a multi-faceted career of collaboration with conservators, scientists and museum professionals. They will enhance the world’s ability to care for its art and material culture.

Graduates will excel in high-demand careers and be prepared for elite graduate programs, including art and object conservation, ethnographic and archaeological materials conservation, historic preservation, art history, museum studies, art handler, museum technician, and library and archival studies.

Possible Careers

Wondering what you can do with a degree from WVU's Technical Art History major? Check out these ideas from WVU Career Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is the midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.


What are the courses like in Technical Art History at WVU?

ARHS 411:
Conservation Practices: Digital Documentation, Treatment, Condition Assessment

This course provides an introduction to the field of conservation and historic preservation. Topics include an overview of historical and current approaches to conservation treatment as well as contemporary issues associated with the field. Students learn fundamental skills in conservation examination (assessing the construction/condition of artworks/artifacts) and documentation (techniques will include stereomicroscopy, ultraviolet illumination, and digital documentation.).

ARHS 412:
Collections Care and Preservation of Material Objects

This course introduces students to the preventive care of collections with a focus on museum policies regarding accessioning/de-accessioning of objects, exhibitions and loans, the transportation and handling of artworks and more. Students complete a survey of a collection, participate in a mock disaster recovery exercise, and conduct environmental monitoring for nearby collections/exhibition spaces.

ARHS 413:
Material Objects Investigations 1 (2-D)

Introduction to historical and contemporary materials of two-dimensional art (organic and inorganic), historical conservation treatments, and selected methods of technical examination of objects (microscopy, ultraviolet, infrared reflectography, x-ray). Printmaking, works of art on paper, papermaking, gilding, easel, and wall paintings will be covered. Students write technical reports, conduct research projects, and reconstruct historical artworks/artifacts.

ARHS 414:
Material Objects Investigation 2 (3-D)

Introduction to historical and contemporary materials of three-dimensional art (organic and inorganic), historical conservation treatments, and selected methods of technical examination of objects (microscopy, ultraviolet, infrared reflectography, x-ray). Metals, ceramics, stone, glass, resins, bone/ivory, basketry, textiles, and taxidermy will be covered. Students write technical reports, conduct research projects, and reconstruct historical artworks/artifacts.

Cost and Aid

How much does Technical Art History at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates for the 2019-20 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current West Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

West Virginia Resident
Per Credit $413
Per Semester $4,956
Fall and Spring Semesters $9,912
Per Credit $1,112
Per Semester $13,344
Fall and Spring Semesters $26,688
Per Credit $1,112
Per Semester $13,644
Fall and Spring Semesters $27,288
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Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Ohio Tuition Reciprocity

As the result of a special agreement, students from Ohio who are fully admitted to Technical Art History can enroll at WVU and pay in-state tuition rates. Students must be admitted to both the University and this major.

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Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits


What are the requirements to apply for Technical Art History at WVU?

To be admitted to WVU's Technical Art History major, you must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2020-21 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Next Steps

I like this major. What are the next steps?

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