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 and Renaissance Studies.

The main objective of the Medieval and 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.

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 and 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.

For more information, contact:
Undergraduate Advisor
Dr. Kelly Stage
327 Andrews Hall

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