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Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Program Description

Just the Facts

Medieval and Renaissance Studies. A program that focuses on the study of the Medieval and/or Renaissance periods in European and circum-Mediterranean history from the perspective of various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including history and archeology, as well as studies of period art and music.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

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Additional Information

Medieval studies students may search the legends of King Arthur for clues that say something about our modern society. Or they may follow the evolution of English. They may even study old musical instruments. Basically, they study all aspects of European civilization from 500 AD to 1500 AD.

"Medieval studies is an interdisciplinary program," says Thomas Jambeck. He is co-director of the medieval studies program at the University of Connecticut.

"Its premise is simply that any given field of study, whether literature or history or science or philosophy or religion and the like, cannot be fully appreciated or understood in a vacuum."

Students take courses in a wide range of subjects. That makes medieval studies an excellent program for students who would like to get a broad liberal arts education, says Michael Cornett. He is the program coordinator of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Duke University.

Many schools offer courses or minors in medieval studies. Several schools also offer the chance to get a bachelor's degree with a major in medieval studies. A handful of schools also offer graduate and postgraduate degrees.

Entrance requirements vary. But programs generally demand that you be comfortable with foreign languages.

Many programs demand that students pass a Latin test before they can graduate. They may also have to show they are proficient in other languages, such as modern French and German.

Take Latin and as many foreign languages as possible in high school. Also, take history classes and English.

High school students should also get experience in writing and editing, says Cornett. You can get that experience through your student newspaper and working on the yearbook.

It doesn't hurt if you've been to Europe to get a sense of its history and people. Better yet, you may be able to experience Europe as you study it through an international exchange program.

You may not have to spend any money on tuition during your time in Europe -- some programs may waive tuition fees. And you get a chance to study your subjects up close and personal.

"A majority of our students do study abroad in their junior year," says Cornett.

You should also be comfortable around computers. You will use them a lot for library and special collection searches.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Social Scientists, Other

Medieval Academy of America
An organization dedicated to medieval studies

The Labyrinth
A collection of links

The Knights Templar
Chronology of the Crusades


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