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 and Early Modern Studies serves as the hub from which to examine diverse cultures, intellectual movements, religions, politics, and literary traditions from a world-historical time frame that stretches from the fifth century to the eighteenth-century CE and into contemporary medievalisms. A trans-disciplinary and interdepartmental program, the major includes studies across the humanities in art, drama, history, literature, music, national languages, philosophy, politics and political theory, religion, and rhetoric. 

These premodern worlds were rarely static and the major encourages dynamic work across traditional boundaries of faiths, languages, economies, and peoples. The lower division series of Medieval and early modern courses in the program provides the foundation for the major and prepares students for advanced work within individual disciplines. At the upper division level, students may choose humanities course work across geographic areas such as the Middle East, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Africa, and America. There is also the option for students to choose 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.

If you would like to take a course that is not listed below that covers material related to the Medieval and/or early modern periods, please fill out the MEMS Request for Course Credit to be Counted for the Major or Minor_0.pdf form.

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

  • Medieval and Early Modern 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
    • English 10A, 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
  • Middle East/ South Asian Studies 100*, 181C*
  • Medieval and Early Modern Studies 130A, 130B, 131, 189, 190
  • Music 121*, 124A, 124B
  • Philosophy 105, 145, 168, 170, 172
  • Political Science 115, 116, 118A
  • Religious Studies 65C, 102, 115, 130*, 160, 165*, 169*
  • 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. Introduction to Late Antiquity and Early Medieval Worlds (4)
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour; extensive writing. Introduction to late antique and early medieval worlds. Topics may include the study of the social and political structure, prominent philosophies, and literature of societies from the Middle East, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Africa, and the Americas. GE credit: ArtHum, Wrt.│AH, WC, WE.--I. (I.)

20B. Intro to Late Medieval and Early Modern Worlds (4)
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Extensive Writing. Introduction to the late medieval and early modern worlds. Topics may include global perspectives that explore human experience in dynamic interconnections with cultures in Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Europe, and the Middle East.  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.)