BA Art History

  • The Art History program at VCUarts Qatar is the only undergraduate degree program of its kind in the Gulf region and offers a distinctive concentration in Islamic art within a global perspective.

    The program is designed to focus on the interchange between the Islamic World, the Western World and the non-Islamic cultures of Asia. Students are offered the opportunity to study the complexity of cultural interchange that has formed the basis of our increasingly globalized modern and contemporary world. It shifts a Western-oriented curriculum prevalent in most university Art History programs to one that encompasses a multi-cultural approach.

  • Such an approach reflects the geographical location and historical involvement of Qatar, which since Antiquity has been part of international trade routes linking both the Central Islamic lands, the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Its location at the crossroads has created a rich and diverse culture in Qatar up to the present day. This unique BA program in Art History that focuses on exchange and dialogue through visual culture is particularly suited for such an environment.

Why study Art History?

  • Examining culture, past and present

  • Develop your visual literacy skills

  • Preparing you for further study and a rewarding career

  • Opportunities for research, internships and volunteering

  • Experienced Faculty

  • VCUarts Qatar - a rigorous, rewarding, multi-cultural experience


Year One - Foundation

Introduction to Anthropology
Art History Survey
Focused Inquiry I and II
Wonders of Technology
History Elective
Fine Arts Studio Elective
Introduction to Contemporary Math
Introduction to the University

32 Credits

Year Two - Sophomore

Islamic Art Survey I and II
Prehistoric & Ancient Art & Architecture
History Elective
History or Religious Studies Elective
Fine Arts Studio Elective
Writing & Rhetoric Workshop II
Museums in the 21st Century
Art Historical Methods
Textual Analysis

30 Credits

Year Three - Junior

Islamic Art & the West Before 1200
Islamic Art & the West 1200-1600
Islamic Art & the West 1600-1800
History Elective
History or Religious Studies Elective
Open Elective

30 Credits


Total minimum requirement = 121 credits

Access the full list of courses here.

Year Four - Senior

Islamic Art & the West 1800-1900
Modern & Contemporary Art in the Middle East
Senior Seminar in Art History
History or Religious Studies Elective
Open Elective
Museum Internship
Directed Research Project

30 Credits


  • Sean Roberts

    Interim Director of Art History

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  • Aisha Al-Muftah

    Teaching Assistant & Academic Support Coordinator

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  • Debra Hanson

    Assistant Professor

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  • Elena Athwal

    Assistant Professor

    P +974 4402 0627
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  • Holiday Powers

    Assistant Professor

    P +974 4402 0782
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  • Jochen Sokoly

    Associate Professor

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  • Radha Dalal

    Assistant Professor

    P +974 4402 0779
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  • Explore history by visiting Qatar's many museums and art galleries from the Museum of Islamic Art to Mathaf and Katara's many visiting exhibitions.

  • Uncover history through our extensive library offering books, magazines and DVDs.

Fieldtrips & Workshops


Visits to world-class Museums

The VCUarts Qatar Art History program offers students the unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience and explore the artworks at the world-class museums in Doha, under the auspices of the Qatar Museum Authority.   

These include :

The Museum of Islamic Art, The Orientalist Museum, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Sheikh Faisal Museum, as well as galleries at the Katara Cultural Village.

Internships and International fieldtrips

Art History students will have opportunities for museum and gallery internships, field study, as well as study-abroad programs to Europe, USA and Asia that are led by the program faculty. 

Sponsorship of the Islamic Art symposium

VCUarts Qatar also co-sponsors the Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art, a leading biennial international symposium on Islamic art and culture.

You can find out more about the Islamic Art Symposium here.