FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the HSAR ‘grid’?
Each student in the HSAR major has a personal ‘grid’ that is used, in consultation with the DUS, to keep track of progress toward fulfillment of the upper-level distributional requirements for the major. 

Each course offered in the HSAR department numbered above 200 is assigned to a geographical area and chronological segment.

Geographical areas: Africa and the Pacific; the Americas; Asia and the Near East; Europe; and transregional

Chronological segments: earliest times to 800; 800–1500; 1500–1800; 1800 to the present; and transchronological

A single course can fulfill both a geographical and a chronological requirement on a student’s grid. Sometimes a single course is also listed under multiple geographical/chronological areas (for instance, if it significantly addresses works of art in both Europe and the Americas). In such cases, there is flexibility in terms of where the course is recorded on a student’s grid, and again, the determination of where a given course falls is made in consultation with the DUS.

As stated in the program of study (http://catalog.yale.edu/ycps/subjects-of-instruction/history-of-art/), the six upper-level courses that each student takes toward the major must together cover four different geographical and chronological requirements. Two of those six courses must be 400-level seminars.

If I took AP Art History in high school, does it count toward the HSAR major?
A student who received a “5” on the exam for AP Art History may take a 200-, 300-, or 400-level course in lieu of one out of the two required introductory courses at the 100-level. Any student applying AP acceleration credit, however, must still take the full 12 course credits in order to complete the major.

Also note that if a student plans to graduate a semester early, taking either HSAR 112 or HSAR 115 will result in the forfeiture of AP acceleration credit as described above.

Do HSAR freshman seminars count toward the HSAR major?
One freshman seminar, if taught by a faculty member or affiliate of the HSAR department, may be used to count at the 200/300-level toward the requirements for the major. 

I wish to arrange an independent study in the HSAR department. How do I proceed?
Any student interested in pursuing an independent study course will first need to consult with the DUS and will then need to approach an individual professor in the HSAR department (or an approved Yale faculty member/curator closely affiliated with the department) about their willingness to supervise over the course of a given semester. If the professor agrees, the student must prepare a syllabus to submit to the DUS in consultation with the chosen supervisor. The syllabus must receive approval from the DUS prior to the date that a student’s schedule is due in order for the independent study to go forward.

If I a student wishes to take the independent study course (HSAR 498) for a letter grade, they must also work with the DUS well in advance to prepare a special petition to the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing. The petition must also be submitted by the date that the student’s schedule is due in the semester when the study is to be undertaken.

For further details see: http://catalog.yale.edu/dus/dus-department/tutorial-courses-independent-research/

Do independent study courses (HSAR 498) count toward the major?
One independent study (HSAR 498) undertaken with a faculty member or affiliate of the History of Art department may be counted toward the major, but only if taken for a letter grade. Whether the independent study counts at the 200/300 or 400 level is subject to DUS review and approval.

Do study abroad courses count toward the HSAR major?
Up to two courses in the History of Art undertaken on a study abroad program may be counted as electives toward the major, upon approval of the DUS. The only exceptions made are for courses taken on a Yale-run study abroad program, some of which may, upon DUS approval, be counted toward a student’s upper-level distributional requirements for the major.

It is always advised to consult with the DUS well in advance of planning to study abroad if the student is looking to count courses from outside Yale toward the major. Upon completion of the study abroad program, final approval is only given once the DUS has reviewed both the course syllabus and the final graded work that the student submitted for the course. It is the responsibility of the student to provide these materials for review.

What are the requirements of the senior essay in the HSAR department?
The standard requirement in the HSAR department is for a one-semester senior essay of approximately 25-30 double-spaced pages at 12pt font, with a maximum length of 30 pages. The essay may be written in the fall or spring term, though the student must have completed the required methods seminar HSAR 401 (“Critical Approaches to Art History”) prior to undertaking the senior essay. HSAR 401 is, for this reason, strongly recommended to be taken in the junior year.

The senior essay must be advised by an individual professor in the HSAR department (or an approved faculty member/curator closely affiliated with the department). By the end of the spring term of junior year, each student should have spoken to a potential advisor about their planned topic for the senior essay. The DUS holds a meeting for all majors in the spring term of junior year that will address questions such as how to choose a successful topic and an appropriate advisor.

As part of the senior essay course (HSAR 499), students meet with the DUS in a series of workshops during the semester that the essay is written. The workshops are comprised of peer-review sessions and a final senior essay colloquium, when each student presents their research to fellow senior majors and members of the faculty.

I am interested in writing a yearlong (two-term) senior essay in the HSAR department. How do I proceed?
Most majors in the HSAR department write one-semester senior essays, but there are occasional cases when a student is permitted to pursue the yearlong option. Doing so requires that the student petition the DUS, and receive approval, prior to the end of the spring term of junior year. No student may undertake a two-term senior essay who has not received approval by this deadline.

Two-term senior essays are required to be approximately 50–75 double-spaced pages at 12pt font, with a maximum length of 75 pages. A student writing a yearlong senior essay will enroll in HSAR 499 both semesters of senior year, participate in the DUS-led workshops during the fall term, and present their research in both the fall and spring senior essay colloquia.