Majors & Programs


Medieval and Renaissance Studies Minor

What is Medieval and Renaissance Studies?

Students may pursue a minor in Medieval and Renaissance studies under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities. The courses offer students the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of the early modern world, the seedbed of modern Western civilization, through the inte-grated study of Renaissance literature, history, philosophy, art history, and music. Courses are drawn from a wide range of departments, allowing students to develop their own course of study, to select areas of concentration that are of particular personal interest, and to work closely with faculty members from different areas.

Students study the themes and social issues of the period through art, history, literature, and popular culture. Topics examined include the rise of urban life, the flowering of vernacular languages and new literary genres, the growing emphasis on education, the re-conception of pictorial representation and architectural space, the expression and subversion of power in politics and culture, and the transformation of religious doctrines and institutions.


Students complete two years of college-level language study in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Arabic, or Greek and are encouraged to continue their foreign language study further. They are expected to take six additional courses, with three coming from the following list:

  • History of Western Art, Architecture, and Design
  • Western Civilization
  • Classical to Renaissance Literature: Text and Tradition
  • Early Political Thought: Text and Tradition
  • Scriptures and Cultural Traditions: America's Bible

Students must also take three courses in either Medieval or Renaissance studies (depending on the concentration chosen) from at least two different departments or programs. Students will select these courses in consultation with their minor advisor.

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