Cornell offers majors in both studio art and art history. For the studio major, areas of focus include ceramics, photography, video, drawing, painting, textiles, sculpture, performance art, papermaking, and collage and assemblage. For students emphasizing art history, there are multiple course area offerings from Western antiquity to the present available, as well as Native American, Latin American, and African art.
An art history thesis normally requires a paper, public presentation, and oral presentation to complete the major. A studio thesis involves an exhibition and oral defense. Our emphasis on a senior thesis requirement is unusual for a college of our size. Our aim is to establish in our majors the qualities of a committed artist or art historian after leaving Cornell, whether continuing their work in their own studios, as teachers inspiring others to make art, entering a graduate program, managing an antique store, becoming a museum docent, or using art as part of their daily lives in a career outside the art world.