Early College Program


What if four weeks studying art could change the rest of your life? If you’re a rising high school junior or senior, you can participate in an immersive program that’ll jumpstart your college journey.

Workshops, thought-provoking discussions and site visits are all part of this learning experience—plus three (3) earned credits in Art History and Curatorial Studies.

Cave, Nick. Soundsuit, 2005. Mixed media. High Museum of Art, Atlanta. © Nick Cave

A Co-Educational, Sponsored Program
for Junior and Senior High School Students

The Early College Program in Art History and Curatorial Studies is a co-educational program at Spelman College designed to encourage rising junior and senior high school students of color to pursue undergraduate studies in art history and curatorial studies. Prior art history or museum experience is not required, however, students should demonstrate a curiosity about how art and visual culture is created; about museums as spaces for cultivating art appreciation; and about the role of curators who shape how art is experienced by the public.

During the four-week, fully-funded program, students attend lectures, complete projects, participate in workshops and engage in discussions at Spelman College, the Atlanta University Center, and the High Museum of Art while making site visits to other locations in Atlanta and around the region.

After successful completion of the program, rising juniors and seniors in high school will receive a Spelman College transcript verifying that they have earned three (3) credits in Art History and Curatorial Studies.

Summer 2024 Dates

Program Dates
June 21 – July 19

Application Opens
February 1

Application Deadline
April 1

Apply Now

Students complete the Ways of Seeing: Art History, Curating, and Museums course for three (3) undergraduate credits in art history and curatorial studies to be applied towards undergraduate course work in the art history major or curatorial studies minor in the AUC Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective. Modeled on several courses offered to Spelman undergraduate students studying in the Department of Art & Visual Culture, the course introduces the discipline of art history and surveys African American and Western art. Students are introduced to museums and other sites that art may be exhibited including archives and libraries. They learn how curators and other professionals interpret art and other objects entrusted to their care. The changing demands of museum audiences is explored further. Additionally, the matter of diversity in the profession and within the collections and institutions is carefully analyzed to determine how difference, in a broad sense is reflected and shaped by art and museums. Over the month, students prepare to be art historians and/or curators by completing exhibition projects drawn from the High Museum’s collection.

Reading assignments are drawn from several college-level textbooks. Supplementary texts like Sylvan Barnet’s “A Short Guide to Writing About Art” are utilized alongside peer-reviewed websites such as smarthistory.org.

At the end of the course, students will be able to do the following:

1. Identify historical and contemporary examples of African American art and examples of Western art and architecture
2. Articulate the significance of African American art in the Euro-American trajectory
3. Summarize the impact of art traditions outside of Europe and America
4. Recall the history and impact of museums
5. Practice the methods of art historians
6. Carry out duties of the curatorial profession and list the other roles in museums
7. Effectively communicate about works of art and the importance of museums
8. Employ technology that is relevant to art history and museology
9. Analyze the history and future of diversity in art history and museums
10. Utilize museums, archives, libraries and primary sources to complete oral and written assignments

Critical viewing, thinking, reading, and writing skills will be developed along with competence in public-speaking and the use of technology and social media. In doing so, students will articulate the overlooked and underestimated value of art history and curatorial work in a competitive job market.

Ideally, students will continue their studies and enroll at one of the institutions in the Atlanta University Center or otherwise position themselves as ambassadors for liberal arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and art history and curatorial studies within the museum setting.

Apply Now


  • Please Note: This is a Co-Educational, Sponsored Program.
    This program is for rising juniors and seniors in high school.
    Applicants must complete the Early College Program: Art History & Curatorial Studies Application, and submit all application materials by the deadline.



All students accepted into the Early College Program receive full scholarships that cover room and board, books, activity fees and field trip transportation costs.

The Early College Program in Art History and Curatorial Studies is made possible by the generosity of the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

Participating families will be responsible for travel costs to Spelman College and the return trip home.


Spelman College
Spelman College, a Historically Black College whose missions is to serve high-achieving Black women, will consider for admission women students including students who consistently live and self-identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth. Spelman does not admit male students, including students who self-identify and live consistently as men, regardless of gender assignment at birth. If a woman is admitted and transitions to male while a student at Spelman, the College will permit that student to continue to matriculate at and graduate from Spelman.

Application to a high school pre-college summer program is not an application for admission to the degree programs of Spelman College. No promises are made regarding admission to the first-year class. Parents/guardians must give their permission for students to participate in summer programs and activities.

The Early College Program in Art History and Curatorial Studies

Invest in Yourself. Be the Future of the Art World.
Four weeks of learning, training and doing all things art. Open to rising high school juniors and seniors of color — because it’s never too early to start your art history or curatorial career.
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