Course Description:

The aim of this course is to expose students to the arts, to broaden their cultural horizons, and to instill in them a desire to expand their knowledge of and attention to the arts. In addition, this course will provide students with the knowledge and the perspectives of different disciplines involved in experiencing, contextualizing, and contemplating works of art. Students will analyze and discuss the theories of aesthetics and ways of seeing in order to grasp the important role the visual arts have in the global society. Students will learn how art is experienced and how it affects the human psyche. This course prepares students to become life-long appreciators of the visual arts.

Learning outcomes include:

  1. Students will gain a broad understanding of the visual arts and ways of seeing art.
  2. Students will recognize and understand major artists and theories and be able to assess the qualities of works of art in their historical and cultural settings.
  3. Students will be able to locate, interpret and analyze primary and secondary sources relevant to research questions.
  4. Students will use innovative approaches to generate new approaches to the history of representation understood within broader socio-cultural perspectives.
  5. Students will be able to express their ideas about visual arts both verbally and in writing.

Meeting Place and Times



Dr. Sarah Coletta-Flynn is a graduate of Montana State's American Studies doctoral program. Her research interests are American history and literature, museum studies, and city planning.  



Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table.                             

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.                                       

Required Books/Materials

Arnold, Dana. Art History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Available in print or as an e-book at: Art History: A Very Short Introduction Online Text

Shimamura, Arthur P. Experiencing Art in the Brain of the Beholder. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.                                                                                

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.                                       

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.                                       

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.                                       

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.