Medieval Studies

Wesley Yu, Chair

112 Ciruti Center

Overview and Contact Information

Medieval studies focuses on a seminal period in Western, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern civilizations. Through the study of art, history, languages, literature, music, and religion, the program leads students to explore the character and creative contributions of the period, to investigate the dynamic interactions of its diverse Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and pagan cultures, and to assess the impact of the Middle Ages on the formation of the New World and the shaping of modern societies.

The Medieval Studies Program offers a variety of courses at all levels of the curriculum. Prospective majors and minors should try to take as many of the 100- and 200-level courses offered by the program as possible.


This area of study is administered by the Medieval Studies Committee:

Michael Davis, Professor of Art History

Nieves Romero-Díaz, Professor of Spanish

Wes Yu, Associate Professor of English

Robert Eisenstein, Director, Five College Early Music Program; Five College Senior Lecturer in Music

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 40 credits:

Three courses in different disciplines at the 100 or 200 level12
Five courses (20 credits) must be at the 300 level in at least two disciplines, of which:20
8 credits at the 300 level in at least one discipline.
Majors are encouraged strongly to take the following as one of the courses at the 300 level:
Seminar in Medieval Studies
8 additional credits in Medieval Studies courses at any level8
Total Credits40

Additional Specifications

  • Majors should study medieval language or literature in English, French, Italian, Latin, or Spanish in a program worked out with the program chair or academic advisor. Students are also advised to acquire proficiency in a modern foreign language sufficient to use foreign language sources in advanced courses.

  • Medieval studies is an interdisciplinary major. Students who pursue an interdisciplinary major automatically fulfill the College’s “outside the major” requirement.

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 16 credits:

An introductory medieval studies course as a foundation for study4
Two courses in medieval studies at the 200 or 300 level 18
At least one additional course in medieval studies at the 300 level 14
Total Credits16

Courses must be selected from at least two disciplines beyond the 100 level

Course Offerings

MEDST-217 Special Topics in Medieval Studies

MEDST-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

MEDST-300 Seminar in Medieval Studies

MEDST-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

Related Courses

Art History
ARTH-222Age of the Cathedrals: The Art of Gothic Europe, 1100-1500 4
ARTH-271Arts of Islam: Book, Mosque, and Palace 4
ENGL-213The Literature of the Later Middle Ages 4
ENGL-214CMTopics in Medieval Studies: 'The Curious Middle Ages' 4
ENGL-214LRTopics in Medieval Studies: 'Love and Reason in Medieval Romance' 4
ENGL-215Early Chaucer 4
ENGL-311CTChaucer: 'The Canterbury Tales' 4
HIST-115The Medieval World 4
HIST-254Doubt, Dissent, and Heresy in the Age of the Inquisition 4
MUSIC-281History of Western Music I 4
POLIT-211Classical Political Thought 4
RELIG-337MCTopics in the Study of Christianity: 'Early Muslim/Christian Encounters' 4