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Online College Course

Introduction to Art History

Introduction to Art History

Sophia's Introduction to Art History course helps you gain mastery of the basic art history elements of the Western world from prehistoric to modern times. In this course, you will explore art exhibits, analyze buildings and architecture, and examine art in everyday life. Full Description

3 semester credits

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  • Category: Humanities

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Course marketing page

This Introduction to Art History Course uses problem­-based learning that shows you how to apply your knowledge in real­-world situations. Our Many Ways™ learning model feature multiple teachers and various instructional styles for each concept so you can find a style that meshes with your individual learning preference. This rich, immersive experience helps you better understand and retain information, for an all­-around smarter way to learn.

Sophia's Introduction to Art History Course helps you gain mastery of the basic art history elements of the Western world from prehistoric to modern times. In this Course, you will explore art exhibits, analyze buildings and architecture, and examine art in everyday life.

In Sophia's Introduction to Art History Course, you will complete a series of assessments comprised of 18 Challenge assessments and 6 Milestone assessments tied to the following learning outcomes:

  • Describe Art History.
  • Examine Art from 22,000 BC through 400 AD.
  • Distinguish Art from 401 AD through 1450 AD.
  • Analyze Art from 1451 AD through 1800 AD.
  • Categorize Art from 1801 AD through 1900 AD.
  • Interpret Art from 1901 AD through Present.


184 Student Reviews
by Polly D. on August 2, 2017
It was difficult to retain the information presented throughout this course. I literally had 3 notebooks full of notes, but found it was difficult to commit to memory the actual art pieces and buildings in the course.
Sophia replied on August 2, 2017

Hi Polly - Congratulations on your successful course completion. This course does cover a wide history of art and artists. To assist students, our exams ("Milestones") are all "open book" so you can reference the course tutorials during the Milestone to help you remember key terms, works of art and artists' names. We hope to see you again in a future Sophia course!

— Mike F. | Sophia Learning Coach
by Teri K. on July 24, 2017
This is a very interesting class. However, there is a LOT of memorization needed.
by tyhisha d. on July 20, 2017
I reviewed so much I was not able to retain the information. The learning was very informative and enjoyed the online instruction by Aliesha
by SHUGG S. on July 13, 2017
Overall, the course was great. I really have 0 interest in art history but needed the course for my degree. The units are well explained and I liked that on most occasions there were transcripts for the videos just in case you preferred to read it instead. I was able to finish the course in roughly 2 weeks but keep in mind, there is a lot of information to take in. I wish this was around when I was in undergrad because I could have easily taken a year's worth of classes in a few months. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to take control of their learning.
by Barbara L. on July 1, 2017
This course was great. I give it 5 stars. There was so much information but it was great information. I am a visual but I am also an audio person so the online tutorials were great. I did not like the fact on the ID verification milestone I could not use a pencil to jot down notes. I like to write with I am thinking things through. Other than that it was a great experience.
by Aimee P. on June 29, 2017
Lots of information in a short period of time but having access to the tutorials was awesome!
by Tiahna N. on June 26, 2017
Lots of interesting material! It was long, but the videos are mostly good at explaining all the content. Loved Ian McConnell's videos and that he has a transcript for each. There were only a few questions on the challenge and milestones that I felt didn't reflect the content of the videos, but overall a well-designed course!
by Nedra B. on June 23, 2017
This course is so hard. It has so many definitions and painters to remember. i don't feel it was organized either. There should have been a portion in the tutorials of just paintings and architectural designs to help you memorize. It was the GRACE OF GOD that got me through this exam. I passed by one point.
Sophia replied on June 24, 2017

Hi Nedra - Congratulations on your successful course completion! Yes, you worked hard to complete this course and earn the college credits. We should note that memorization is not always necessary, as the exams in the course are "open book", allowing you to reference course tutorials during the assessments. We hope to see you in a future course with us. Thank you.

— Mike F. | Sophia Learning Coach


  • Q: Does Sophia accept third-party payment for tuition, such as financial aid or military benefits?
    A: Sophia courses are not eligible for most third party payment methods, and must be paid for by credit or debit card. Tuition is due at the time of course registration. Sophia offers both full and partial payment plans as part of the registration process.
  • Q: When do the courses start and how long do I have to complete a course?
    A: You choose your own start date and have 60 days to complete each course. However, because the courses are self-paced, you can complete them in fewer than 60 days.
  • Q: Where do I get the textbooks for my course?
    A: You do not need any textbooks for Sophia courses. All material is taught by video and text-based tutorials that are in the course room, and are included in the cost.
  • Q: How am I graded in the course?
    A: Your overall score is derived from how you do on two types of assessments: Challenges, which are formative assessments, and Milestones, which are summative assessments. Sophia’s English Composition I, Foundations of English Composition, and Public Speaking courses also include written assignments, called Touchstones, that also contribute to your overall score.
  • Q: How do I know which courses I should take?
    A: Consult with your academic adviser at your university to determine specifically which Sophia courses could fit into your program. You can download the course syllabus directly from our site to share with your school advisor.

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