Admission to the Major
No specific courses are required for admission to the Medieval Studies major.
Medieval Studies majors take classes in a broad range of fields, including art history, archaeology, history, languages and literature, music history, manuscript studies, and religious studies. They are required to take 10 upper-level courses that will normally conform to the following:
- Four courses in the student’s chosen field of specialization
- Two courses in a second field of Medieval Studies
- One course in a third field of Medieval Studies
- Three additional courses in any area of Medieval Studies, or in another field deemed, in consultation with the advisor, to be closely related to the student’s work in subject matter or method. For example, a student specializing in medieval history may count toward the major a course in ancient history or historical method, while a student specializing in medieval literature may include a course in classical literature or in the theory of literary criticism.
A student may take more than four courses in his/her primary area of specialization, but only four will be counted toward the major.
At least one of the courses in the primary area of specialization should be a seminar, as should at least one of the courses in either the second or third fields.
Student Learning Goals
Medieval Studies majors will be expected to master the following skills:
- An ability to interpret intersections among the many cultures, religions, ethnicities, and identities of the European Middle Ages.
- The critical use of historical evidence across a range of disciplines.
- A comparative approach to medieval sources of various kinds (material and textual).
- The ability to construct arguments informed by ideas of temporalities and geographies that are currently debated by scholars in Medieval Studies.
Students majoring in the program are encouraged to spend at least one semester studying abroad. Programs of study must be approved in advance by the student’s advising committee.
All medieval studies majors are expected to have reading knowledge (usually four semesters or the equivalent) of at least one modern European foreign language by the beginning of their senior year. Latin is also strongly recommended.
Honors and high honors are awarded by vote of the Medieval Studies faculty to students whose coursework is judged to be of sufficiently high quality and who have done outstanding work on one or more of the following writing projects: a senior thesis, a senior essay, or a seminar paper nominated for honors or high honors by the instructor in the seminar. All writing projects will be evaluated by at least two faculty members before a recommendation for program honors is made. By vote of the medieval studies faculty, those who have been recommended for high honors in the program may be nominated for University Honors.
Students in the program are normally expected to complete at least one long paper that may be a senior thesis, a senior essay, or a seminar paper.