Major and Minor

Tiffany Jo Werth, Program Director
Brandy Fleming, Staff Advisor
Program Office, 176 Voorhies Hall
Phone: 530-752-2257

The Major Program

The Major in Medieval Studies examines the intellectual, political, and cultural forces that shaped modern European civilization during the period from the end of Ancient Rome (fifth century) to the beginning of the Enlightenment (mid-eighteenth century). An interdisciplinary and interdepartmental program, the major includes studies in history, art, philosophy, literature, drama, music, national languages, religion, rhetoric, and political theory.

The major requires interdisciplinary work, while allowing the student to focus on the early Middle Ages, the High Middle Ages, the Renaissance, or the Baroque. The series of Medieval and Early Modern courses in the program provides the foundation for the major and prepares students for advanced work within the individual disciplines. On the upper-division level, students may choose course work in specific areas of History, Comparative Literature, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Latin, philosophy and religion, arts and language, and political thought. In addition, each student may elect to complete a senior thesis on a selected aspect of Medieval and/or Early Modern culture.

For more information regarding courses, please consult the General Catalog.

A.B. Major Requirements:
Preparatory Subject Matter: 22 units

  • Medieval Studies 20A, 20B: 8 units
  • Three additional courses (12 units) chosen from:
    • Art History 1B, 1C, 1E
    • Comparative Literature 2, 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, 10E
    • English10A, 46A
    • German 48
    • History 4A, 4B
    • Humanities 1*, 9
    • Philosophy 21, 22
  • MST 098/99: 2 units

Language proficiency is a desideratum. Courses in Latin and other European languages are strongly recommended, particularly for students planning to pursue graduate studies in the medieval or early modern field.

Depth Subject Matter: 44 units

In consultation with the undergraduate adviser, students select a total of eleven courses (44 units) from the following disciplines, with at least three courses each from the Medieval and Early Modern periods.

  • Art History 155, 156, 178A, 178B, 178C, 179B, 190B, 190C, AH1B
  • Classics 110
  • Comparative Literature 139, 164A, 164B, 164C, 166A, 180*
  • English 111, 113A, 113B, 115, 117, 122, 150A, 153*, 165*, 185A*, 188*, 189*
  • French 115, 116, 117A, 118B, 141*
  • German 101A, 112*, 120, 121, 122, 124*, 131, 134*, 160
  • History 102B, 102D, 121A, 121B, 121C, 122, 125, 130A, 130B, 131A, 131B, 131C, 132, 135A, 136, 139A, 144A, 148A, 151A, 151B, 190B, 190C
  • Italian 105, 112, 113, 114, 115A, 115B, 115C, 115D, 118, 139B, 140, 141
  • Latin 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 114, 115, 116, 118, 119, 120, 121, 125, 130
  • Medieval Studies 130A, 130B, 131, 189, 190
  • Music 121*, 124A, 124B
  • Philosophy 105, 145, 168, 170, 172
  • Political Science 115, 116, 118A
  • Religious Studies 102, 115, 130*
  • Spanish 130, 133N, 134B, 142*

* Prior approval by Undergraduate Adviser necessary.
Total Units for the Major: 66
Major Advisers: B. Fleming


Minor Program Requirements:
24 units

The minor in Medieval Studies is a coherent program of interdisciplinary study. Medieval Studies units may be taken in one or more of the traditional fields of concentration, including art, history, literature, music, national languages, philosophy, political theory, and religious studies. Courses must be upper-division with at least two courses each from the Medieval and Early Modern periods. Students may also select a minor with a thematic emphasis.

Although there is no foreign language requirement for the minor, knowledge of Latin or a modern European language is recommended.

The minor must be designed in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor.
Minor Advisors: B. Fleming

Medieval and Early Modern Studies Courses:

Lower Division Courses

20A. Early Medieval Culture (4)
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour; extensive writing. Readings (in translation) in medieval culture, such as the Codes of Justinian,  the Confessions of Saint Augustine, Beowulf, the Nibelungenlied, and The Song of Roland, the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, the Chronicles of Froisssart, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and Dante's Divine Comedy. GE credit: ArtHum, Wrt.│AH, WC, WE.--I. (I.)

20B. The Culture of the High Middle Ages (4)
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Extensive Writing. Great transformations that created the modern world: Constitutional Government, the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the Peasants Revolts, the Renaissance, Reformation and Counter Reformation, and the Baroque. GE credit: ArtHum, Wrt│AH, WC, WE.--II. (II.)

98. Directed Group Study (1-5)
(P/NP grading only.)

99. Special Study for Undergraduates (1-5)
(P/NP grading only.)

Upper Division Courses

130A. Special Themes in Medieval Cultures (4)
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Each offering concentrates on an interdisciplinary aspect of medieval culture in the Middle East and Europe: the idea of the hero, mysticism, urban development. Extensive readings focused on medieval source material. May be repeated for credit. GE credit: ArtHum, Wrt│AH, WC, WE.

130B. Special Themes in Renaissance Culture (4)
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Each theme illuminates an interdisciplinary aspect of Renaissance culture in the eastern and western hemispheres: exploration, medical pathology, daily life, baroque culture. Immersion in source material from 1500-1650. May be repeated for credit. GE credit: ArtHum, Wrt │AH, WC, WE.

131. Cross-Cultural Relations in the Medieval and/or Early Modern World (4)
Lecture/discussion--3 Hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: course 20A or 20B or consent of instructor. Medieval and/or Renaissance aspects of cross culuralism. Relations between Christians, Jews, and Muslims: Europeans, Africans, and Asians; Old Wrold and New World. Offered irregularly. GE credit: WC, WE.

189. Seminar in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (4)
Seminar--3 hours; term paper. Prerequisite: course 20A or 20B or consent of Instructor. Focus on a particular problem or issue in the Medieval or Early Modern periods. Seminar topics might include (but not limited to) monasticism, origins of the university, chivalry, exploration, the role of women in the Medieval and Early Modern World. Offered in alternate years. GE credit: WE.

190. Senior Thesis (4)
Seminar—4 hours. Prerequisite: senior standing and major in Medieval Studies. Preparation of a research paper dealing with a selected aspect of medieval culture, under supervision of three members of the Committee in Charge.—I, II, III. (I, II, III.)

197T. Tutoring in Medieval Studies (1-4)
Seminar—2 hours. Prerequisite: courses 20A and 20B; upper division standing; consent of instructor and chairperson of curriculum committee. Tutoring in Medieval Studies 20A and 20B, including leadership in small discussion groups affiliated with the course. May be repeated for credit for a total of 6 units. (P/NP grading only.)

198. Directed Group Study (1-5)
(P/NP grading only.)

199. Special Study for Advanced Undergraduates (1-5)
(P/NP grading only.)