In keeping with the long-standing departmental goal of providing undergraduates opportunities to engage in deeper research and writing projects under the close supervision and interaction with a faculty member, undergraduate majors have the option of pursuing a Capstone Program experience. Capstone opportunities serve as a project-based culmination to Art History major studies and provide juniors and seniors to pursue the following options as in-depth, culminating experiences to their major studies. Please visit the Capstone Initiative website for more information about the goals of the Capstone experience.

The UCLA Department of Art History provides six capstone formats encompassing experiences pursuing highly involved development of research and writing skills to service and professional engagement in arts institutions. These capstone experiences emphasize either one-on-one or intimate small group learning experiences, while also allowing for the specific structure and content of each experience to be highly individual and informed by close faculty participation. These six formats are as follow.

Please visit the Capstone
Initiative website for
more information about
the goals of the Capstone

Study Options

Honors Thesis
This capstone option provides an opportunity for dedicated and qualified junior and senior Art History majors to undertake a two-quarter independent research project under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member, culminating in a departmental honors thesis of approximately 30 pages. Students must have completed a minimum of four upper division art history courses with a 3.5 departmental grade-point average and overall 3.0 grade- point average. The thesis takes place in Art History 198A (in progress) and 198B (letter grade).

Directed Independent Study
Under close faculty supervision, motivated seniors with a 3.0 departmental grade point average may engage in individual intensive study with scheduled meetings between faculty member and student under Art History 197. This capstone experience incorporates assigned reading; at the conclusion of the student’s study, tangible evidence of mastery of the subject matter is required. Department juniors in good standing can also engage in this capstone option in Art History 199, similarly engaging in supervised individual research under the guidance of a faculty member and resultant in a culminating paper or project.

Museum Studies Internship
In this unique capstone option, juniors and seniors will dedicate themselves to a minimum two-quarter commitment to the study of museums and a direct engagement with an institution in a supervised internship experience. This capstone format requires that students take Art History 170A as prerequisite, and participate in a museum internship following their completion of the course in Art History 195. This capstone experience will allow students to apply their curricular engagement to a supervised internship experience with close faculty and museum personnel interaction. The department currently offers such an internship opportunity at the Hammer Museum to 3-4 students per year on a competitive basis. In the future, similar partnerships with other museums in the area may be pursued to increase internship opportunities to accommodate more qualified students interested in museum experiences.

Research Assistantship
Under the umbrella of a Research Apprenticeship in 196 or in concert with the Student Research Program, students participating in this capstone experience will have the unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor to pursue a broad range of activities in support of the mentor’s research project, learning from practice and close interaction the necessary steps involved in serious academic/scholarly work. These activities include but are not limited to producing literature reviews, generating bibliographies, conducting interviews, researching image and text sources, cataloguing, and investigating other research materials. This two-quarter capstone format takes place either as a Research Apprenticeship in 196 or in SRP99; both formats provide for close engagement with a faculty mentor in which the student has the opportunity to not only observe the development of a research project first hand (an opportunity typically reserved for graduate students) but also simultaneously impact the project through the student’s unique creative contribution that relates to and builds upon the research assistantship.

Faculty-Approved Upper Division Course with Simultaneous Capstone
To realize its capstone program objectives, the Department of Art History will add a two-unit add-on course (AH 197C) to any appropriate upper-division Art History course.