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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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  • Accepted or preapproved for credit transfer by 226 institutions. See the list
  • Recommended for transfer to more than 2,000 colleges and universities.

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This course is ACE Credit® recommended for transfer to more than 2,000 colleges and universities.* Learn more
This course is DEAC-approved as meeting the criteria for Approved Quality Curriculum (AQC) status. Learn more


Guaranteed to transfer to our partner colleges and universities.* See Partners

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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.


157 Student Reviews
by Christena L. on March 19, 2017
I've seen a lot of reviewers complaining about the difficulty of the course. Sure, the questions are very challenging. Some of them are subjective, and I've missed questions that I have submitted for review based on the subjective nature as well as sometimes contradictory information found in the tutorials. Overall, however it was a very good course and anyone who can read and analyze and think critically, should not have a problem passing every challenge and milestone, especially since you are allowed to use the website for all milestones and challenges.
by Collin B. on March 14, 2017
great! challenging
by Tanya B. on March 10, 2017
Not fond of Art History, but Ian did a great job.
by Alicya K. on March 8, 2017
If my degree had anything to do with art or if I was interested in art, this may have been a different experience. However, I am working on a nursing degree and this course was TORTURE! I am so glad that this is over.
Sophia replied on March 8, 2017

Alicya - Congratulations on your successful course completion! You may not have enjoyed the course subject matter, but you worked hard to learn the material and earn the college credit. Congratulations!

— Mike F. | Sophia Learning Coach
by Emmalee H. on March 6, 2017
The people I have had experience with on the other end of the support email have been WONDERFUL.
by James R. on February 28, 2017
First of all, I am not much an art guy so this course was very tedious. Secondly, like many many many other people have already said the format of the quiz questions is very difficult. Many questions have 3 or more parts and if you get one part wrong the entire question is wrong. I felt the instructors and videos were long, the quantity of content very large, and the entire thing boring. I passed and now have credits to transfer into my college at 20% of the cost.
by Jennifer O. on February 23, 2017
The learning coach Bethany helped me out a couple of times. She is great, Thanks so much...
by Tyronda N. on February 23, 2017
Great experience and way to get additional credits needed. I wish more courses were offered!


  • Q: Does Sophia accept third-party payment for tuition, such as financial aid or military benefits?
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  • 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.
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    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 course also includes written assignments, called Touchstones, that also contribute to your overall score.)

    Sophia courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. No letter grade is issued for a completed course.
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    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.