The program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies is designed to provide
the student with a well-rounded understanding of the historical, cultural,
and social forces that shaped the medieval and Renaissance periods.
Students take courses across disciplines in four areas of study (see
below). A major or minor is available in this program.
The major requires ten courses, two requirements and eight elective distribution courses taken in the following four areas of study: history; fine arts (art and music); language and literature (English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, and Spanish); philosophy and religion.
The two requirements may be fulfilled in one of two ways: (1) by taking the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Focus program; or (2) by taking two courses that satisfy a Medieval Cultures and Renaissance Cultures requirement. Students following the second option need to consult with the associate director to select courses that may count toward this requirement.
In addition to these two courses, students must take the remaining eight elective courses in one of the following distributions: (a) 3 3 2 0, three courses in two of the four areas of study and two courses in a third area; or (b) 3 3 1 1, three courses in two of the four areas of study and one course in each of the other two areas.
Each program is tailored to the needs and interests of the student. After discussion with the director of undergraduate studies or another advisor for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the student submits a provisional program of study outlining special interdisciplinary interests. Normally the program is planned before the end of the sophomore year to allow time to acquire a working knowledge of languages pertinent to specific interests.
Majors are encouraged to pursue honors work in an area of special interest.
Procedure for Selection of Students. The student should apply to the associate director during the junior year, and must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies major.
Expected Product. A written thesis based on at least one independent study (Medieval and Renaissance Studies 491, 493) with a Medieval and Renaissance Studies faculty member who directs the thesis.
Evaluation Procedure. Evaluation by a committee of three Medieval and Renaissance Studies faculty members appointed by the director of undergraduate studies, one of whom must be the thesis director.
Levels of Distinction. Recommendation from the review committee for distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction based on the quality of the thesis and on performance in the major program.
Special Courses. The Medieval and Renaissance Studies independent study courses (Medieval and Renaissance Studies 491, 493) may count toward the major. The thesis may be written in conjunction with independent study work in either the junior or senior year.
Students double-majoring in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and another department or program may elect to work on an honors project and receive honors in both areas. The following additional guidelines apply.
The student must propose a double-thesis to both departments/programs and seek their approval together. A student may not seek the approval of a second department or program after already beginning work on an honors project. on it.
To qualify as a legitimate double-thesis, the thesis must clearly draw on advising from and work done for both departments/programs. Specifically, the student must form two separate committees; only one member may be on both committees (the thesis advisor). The student must also take at least one thesis-related course from each department/program involved, as determined by each area (e.g., thesis seminar or independent study). A double-thesis, therefore, should benefit clearly from its basis in two different departments/programs, exemplifying a strong cross-disciplinary quality.
Evaluation of the double-thesis is done separately by the two committees. This means in practice that the committees may evaluate the thesis differently according to their own standards.
Requirements. Five courses, two of which must be Focus Program courses or Medieval and Renaissance Studies 151 and 152. The three remaining courses may be taken in any distribution suiting the student's interests in consultation with a Medieval and Renaissance Studies advisor.
The following courses are taken in distributions across four areas of study. Some of these courses are available in more than one study area. Students who have participated in the Focus Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies may take Medieval and Renaissance Studies 151 and 152 to fulfill distribution requirements. Cross listed courses may count toward the major or minor in both Medieval and Renaissance Studies and in the cross listed departments or programs.
Area 1: Fine Arts
201S, 205S, 210, 215, 220, 225, 227, 229A, 233, 237, 242A, 243A, 249, 290-1, 390-1, 504A, 505A, 506S, 507S, 522, 523, 524, 590S-1, 590S-2.Area 2: History
246, 254, 257, 259, 262, 264, 268, 269, 272, 275, 277, 279, 281, 284, 286D, 287, 289, 304S, 354, 426S, 429S, 430S, 432S, 550, 551, 570S, 575S, 676.Area 3: Language and Literature
290AS-1, 290S-1, 301, 303, 304S, 305S, 308, 310S, 312, 314, 317, 318, 320S, 321, 324S, 326, 328, 330, 331, 332, 333, 337, 450, 452, 454, 458, 459, 462S, 465, 470S, 475D, 590-1, 605, 607, 608S, 610S, 615S, 625S, 630S, 632S, 640S, 642, 647S, 648, 690S-1.Area 4: Philosophy and Religion
257, 262, 268, 269, 284, 350, 340, 354, 355, 550, 551, 575S, 650, 651S, 653, 655, 659, 662, 664, 667, 669S, 672, 675, 676, 677, 679, 680, 682.Additional Topics and Seminar Courses
The following topics courses are taught in various disciplines and vary from semester to semester. They may be taken in any of the above four study areas depending on the nature of their subjects. Students need to consult with the director of undergraduate studies or a Medieval and Renaissance Studies advisor to determine how any one of these courses may be distributed:
89S, 100, 100S, 151, 152, 190A, 200, 291, 293, 300, 300S, 390, 390A, 390S, 400, 491, 493, 590, 590S.
89S. First-Year Seminar. Topics vary each semester offered.
151. Medieval Cultures. ALP, CCI, CZ. Interdisciplinary introduction to medieval culture that includes sources and methods from history, literature, and art history. Emphasizes interpretation of written texts, oral traditions, visual culture, and artifacts. C-L: Art History 121, Classical Studies 121, History 241
152. Renaissance Cultures. ALP, CCI, CZ. A study of historical, literary, philosophical, and art historical materials introducing Renaissance culture and the methods developed for its study. C-L: Art History 152, History 116, Italian 381
190FS. Special Topics in Focus. Special topics in Medieval and Renaissance Studies open only to students in the Focus Program.
291. Independent Study. Individual non-research directed study in a field of special interest on a previously approved topic, under the supervision of a faculty member, resulting in an academic product.
293. Research Independent Study. R. Individual research and reading in a field of special interest, under the supervision of a faculty member, resulting in a substantive paper or written report containing significant analysis and interpretation of a previously approved topic. Usually undertaken by a student working on an Honors project in consultation with the student's project advisor. Consent of instructor required.
491. Independent Study: Thesis. Individual non-research directed study in a field of special interest on a previously approved topic, under the supervision of a faculty member, resulting in an academic and/or artistic product that will contribute to developing an honors thesis.
493. Research Independent Study: Thesis. R. Individual research and reading in a field of special interest, under the supervision of a faculty member, resulting in a substantive paper or written report containing significant analysis and interpretation of a previously approved topic. Undertaken by a student working on an Honors project in consultation with the student's project advisor.
Click here for a comprehensive list of over 120 other courses that count toward the Medieval and Renaissance Studies major or minor.