Major in Medieval Studies


The undergraduate Program in Medieval Studies offers an interdisciplinary major that allows students to explore the history, philosophy, theology and cultural production of the Middle Ages in an integrated and nuanced fashion, through engagement with a diverse array of textual and material artefacts.


Students interested in majoring in Medieval Studies should consult the program director as early as possible in order to design a program of study that meets the student's intellectual interests and goals. The major requires twelve courses chosen from the catalog or the program website, divided among the following subject areas:

2 courses in history
2 courses in art, archeology, architecture, or music
2 courses in philosophy or theology
2 courses in medieval language or literature*
1 course in methods and materials**
2 electives
1 reading and research course. This course is normally conducted as an independent study with the student's BA paper advisor, and is typically taken in the winter of the fourth year (or one quarter before graduation)

*Medieval language may include courses such as Old French, Old English, Occitan, or Medieval Latin. Students may also enroll in literature courses taught in the target language, or in translation. Students who think they may wish to apply to graduate school in a field related to medieval studies are strongly advised to acquire reading competence in at least one medieval language.

**Students may take courses such as paleography, codicology, manuscript studies, or epigraphy, that will allow them to engage directly with medieval source materials and objects. Alternatively, students may enroll in a course like literary theory, aesthetics, or historiography that will help them develop their methodological orientation.

Grading and Honors

The program requires completion of a BA paper of c. 25 pages to be submitted by 6th week of the quarter in which the student is graduating. All papers require a faculty director and a second reader. Students with an overall GPA of at least 3.0, and 3.5 in the major, are eligible for honors.

Deparmental Awards

Each year the Program in Medieval Studies awards the National Guild of St. Margaret of Scotland Prize for the best BA paper on a medieval topic. Recipients are not required to be majors in Medieval Studies. In order to be considered for this honor students must submit the following information by March 15:

  • A cover letter including the student's name, title of BA paper, names of readers, major/s and minor/s
  • One letter of recommendation from one of the readers of the BA paper
  • A copy of the BA paper draft

The winner will be announced on May 1.