The Department of History of Art & Architecture is introducing UC Santa Barbara’s newest minor, architecture and urban history, with the aim of providing students with the opportunity to explore topics within the art department without necessarily being in the major. 

The minor does not solely focus on the classical world, but on the architecture of multiple styles and time periods as well. Nexus file photo 

Students taking on the minor must take two lower-division art history courses and 20 units of upper-division courses from the art history, environmental science or geography departments. Students have the option of replacing one of the upper-division art history courses with a portfolio workshop course and a two-unit internship course, according to the minor sheet. 

The art history and architecture department already provides three academic options for students looking to pursue art-related endeavors: the core major, the core minor and a minor in museum studies, which was first offered to students in Fall Quarter 2018, according to Savannah Parison, the program advisor. 

The architecture and urban history minor will allow students with an interest in architecture to pursue an education in the field without having to fully dedicate themselves to the discipline, according to Parison.  

“The project has been in progress for two years with the aim being student enrollment in Fall [Quarter 2019],” Parison said.

The curriculum committee, who decided on the content of the new minor, included Professor Swati Chattopadhyay, Professor Claudia Moser and Department Chair Mark Meadow, all from the Department of History of Art & Architecture. Although the program was just unveiled at the beginning of Fall Quarter 2019, Parison said a couple of students have already come in to declare the minor.

She noted that the new minor is not exclusive to art history courses; it includes opportunities to take courses within both the geography and environmental studies majors. Both of the aforementioned disciplines offer classes that can be used to fill requirements of the minor, including the geography department’s series on urban or regional planning and the environmental department’s series on sustainable communities, according to Parison.

She clarified that the minor would not solely focus on the classical world, but the architecture of multiple styles and time periods as well.    

Parison has already noticed an interest in the minor across a variety of academic fields, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) majors that usually wouldn’t express interest in art history given the demands of their coursework.  

“We’ve had a lot of interest from engineering students in the past who want to be involved but can’t double major in two colleges but can do the minor relatively easy. It gives them a way to participate and we’ve received lots of support from the engineering departments and advisors,” Parison said. 

Parison advises students to meet with her before taking on the minor to determine if it will fulfill their needs and interests, or even if the major may potentially be suited for them. 

“We are not a university that explicitly prepares students to be an architect and this minor is not the best way to qualify for architecture school. This is a minimal step and so discussions need to be had,” Parison said.

She emphasized that there are opportunities for students interested in a career in architecture, stating students should reach out to faculty member and permanent lecturer Jeremy White who regularly holds workshops on the subject matter. 

A version of this article appeared on page 4 of the Oct. 3, 2019 edition of the Daily Nexus.