Photo of Medieval Department Grad Student #1


Explore the roots of Western culture

Welcome, students! Here, you’ll find the resources and information you need to plan your undergraduate program, including degree requirements and recommendations for a major or minor in Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

The main objective of the Medieval & Renaissance Studies major is to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the history of Western civilization. Upon completion of the major, you will understand the main outlines of the history and culture of the Medieval/Renaissance period, be able to read at least one language relevant to this area of study, know the primary artistic developments of the period and understand the contributions of Medieval & Renaissance culture to modern culture.

For more information, contact the Undergraduate Advisor Dr. Kelly Stage at 327 Andrews Hall, 402-472-1836 or kstage2@unl.edu.

Within the context of these intellectual endeavors, you will study the evolution of such social institutions as trial by jury, the idea of rights, the hospital and the parliament, the organization of work by clock time, the dissemination of information by the printing press and appeals on behalf of the rights of women. You will also examine the growth of Protestantism and the renewal of Catholicism through the Counter-Reformation. The courses offered for this major cover everything from ascetic saints like St. Francis to authors of bawdy tales like Rabelais.

Because the disciplines in the Medieval & Renaissance periods are fluid, it is important for our students in this area of study to take a variety of courses in different academic areas. Because the central intellectual documents of the period are written in Latin, you should consider taking Latin courses. Knowledge of a language — Latin, German, Spanish, Italian or whichever language best suits your area of interest — is required for the major.

Major Requirements

The major requires 30 hours from core required courses and elective courses. Twelve hours must be taken at the 300 level or above.

Core Requirements

Core Courses (for a total of 15 hrs):

a) Select two of the following:

b) Select one of the following:

c) Select one of the following:

Select one of the following:

  • An honors thesis
  • a 900-level Interdisciplinary Seminar (open to undergraduates with permission)
  • a 300- or 400-level directed reading resulting in a substantial research paper.

Elective Courses (for a total of 15 hrs) selected in consultation with the adviser to form a coherent area of concentration. The 15 hours must include courses from at least two of the following three areas: history, literature and the humanities, and the visual and performing arts. Courses must be chosen from the list of course offerings for Medieval and Renaissance Studies listed. Students can substitute an appropriate Honors seminar with the consent of their advisor. Advanced students may take a graduate course in Medieval and Renaissance studies with permission of the instructor.

Minor Requirements

The minor requires a minimum of 18 hours of study, 6 credits at the 300 level or above.

Required courses

For a total of 9 hours

a) Select one of the following:

b) Select one of the following:

c) Select one of the following:


9 hours from courses listed above

* NOTE: “Special topics” courses, Honors Program seminars, graduate seminars (some of which are open to undergraduates with permission), and other such courses may also count for Medieval and Renaissance studies credit. For information regarding whether a specific course may count toward the major or minor, contact the Medieval and Renaissance Studies director.