Foreign Study

The Department of Art History's foreign study program offers students the extraordinary opportunity to study intensively the major artistic monuments of Italy in the land where they were produced. Based in Rome, one of Europe's richest artistic centers, the program examines the monuments of the city, their creators, their patrons, and their various audiences. The curriculum encourages students to see art and architecture not as isolated phenomena, but rather as they exist within larger cultural and historical contexts.


The program runs for ten weeks, from late March until early June, sometimes with a one-week midterm break. All participants are enrolled in three courses, two in art history and one in Italian language. Regular classes meet Monday through Thursday mornings and two or three weekday afternoons.

Art History 26.01

The History of Art in Rome

This course offers a detailed study of sites of particular art-historical interest (e.g., the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Catacombs, St. Peter's Basilica, the museums of the Capitoline and the Vatican, S. Maria Maggiore, S. Maria del Popolo, S. Maria della Vittoria) and of major artistic figures (e.g. Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Raphael, Bramante, Caravaggio, Bernini). The objects of study, as well as the readings on them, will be chosen with the goal of examining some of the major art historical issues and modes of analysis. These may include, for example, narrative, iconography, social history, gender, perception, patronage, and stylistic analysis. There will be several field trips. In the past these have included Tivoli, Florence, Venice, Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi coast.

Art History 26.02

Early Modern Architecture in Rome

This course addresses Rome's fascinating array of architectural styles, looking particularly at the evolution of architectural forms and their place in the history of culture, including, for example, the Christian basilica, the Renaissance palace, and the villa.

Art History 26.03

The Language and Culture of Rome

This course will be approximately the equivalent of Italian 2 and will focus on grammar and conversation.

ARTH 26.04

The Architecture and Urbanism of Rome

No site offers the same enduring importance for Western history and culture as the city of Rome. As a secular and spiritual capital, it bears evidence to three millennia of human ambitions and evolving patterns of social and political organization. Its topography is a vast archive, which we will engage though lectures, discussions, group projects, movies and by immersing ourselves into the city itself. This course surveys the topography and urbanism of Rome from its origins to the present. While the immediate goal will be to study the city, the larger goal will be to provide a conceptual framework with which to consider the power and function of cities—one of humanity's most important inventions. We will ponder such essential questions as: why and how did cities like Rome arise and change over centuries? What social, cultural, topographic forces push and pull at a city's built fabric? How were individual structures, public spaces, and neighborhoods built to respond to such forces?

ARTH 26.05

Early Modern Art in Rome

This course examines the visual arts of Rome in the Early Modern period, a period marked by a revived interest in naturalism. This revival was inspired by Classical Antiquity and had wide-ranging implications. We shall address the social and historical context of artworks in an exciting time that also saw the invention of printing, a change in the status of the artist, and a shift in perception on the part of the beholder. Among the related themes to be studied are materials and techniques; style and influence; religious and mythological iconography; and patronage and collecting. 


Requirements for the three courses include assigned readings, class participation, group projects, short research papers, oral presentations, and a final term paper or exam.


There are two prerequisites for the Art History FSP, Italian 1 (or its equivalent) and Art History 1. In addition, Art History 2 is highly recommended.

Living Accommodations and Facilities

Students share rooms in apartments.  The Dartmouth College Rome Center (DCRC) on the Piazza della Cancelleria provides classroom and library space for the Dartmouth programs in Art History, Classics, and Italian.


The combined costs of tuition and lodging are charged directly to each student's account. Several group dinners and lunches and all of the expenses of the regularly scheduled class trips, including transportation and museum admissions, are included in the basic tuition fee. In addition, each student will need to budget for personal expenses, including food and transportation between the U. S. and Europe. Additional financial aid is available for qualified students. For further information on estimated expenses, see the Off-Campus Programs website; for financial aid, see the Off-Campus Programs website or contact the Financial Aid Office in McNutt Hall.

Application Procedures

Students must apply for the program a year in advance. This means that a student wishing to participate during the spring of his or her third year must apply during the fall/winter of his or her second year. A meeting—at which basic information is discussed—is held annually in October. Students who will not be on campus during the following winter term must apply by early November; the final deadline for applying will be early February. Application materials and further information concerning deadlines are available at Off-Campus Programs. The final group will be limited to sixteen students.

For Major and Minors

Both Art History 26.01: Foreign Study I and 26.02: Foreign Study II, may be counted toward the major and/or minor, but only one fulfills a departmental distributive.