Medieval and Renaissance Studies

One of the most foundational periods in the formation of the modern world, the Middle Ages witnessed the development of the Church, fundamental currents in philosophy and theology, the establishment of Europe’s first universities, the growth of the continent’s major cities, the flourishing of Romanesque and Gothic art and architecture, and complex interactions with the wider world. Emerging out of the Medieval world, the Renaissance and Early Modern periods were shaped by the invention of the printing press and the growth of lay literacy, the development of Humanism and the furthering of modern scientific and philosophical inquiry, religious and ideological upheaval, the creation of the first modern nation-states, Europeans’ encounters with previously unknown civilizations, and the creation of the first truly global economy. The complexity of this long stretch of history, remarkable for its accomplishments but also characterized by violence and intolerance, cannot be adequately accounted for by a single discipline. A minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies provides students with a solid grounding in the historical context for many of the major cultural and intellectual developments that contributed to the foundations of our modern global society.


18 units total, comprised of six units of lower-division and 12 units of upper division coursework. A minimum of three academic disciplines must be represented in this total.

Lower Division
HIST 103The Medieval World3
Select 1 course from the following:3
Introduction to Art History I
Introduction to Art History II
The Year 1500: A Global History of Art and Architecture
The Atlantic World 1500-1800
The Pacific World, 1500-1800
History of Medieval Philosophy
Introduction to Biblical Studies
Upper Division
Select 4 courses from the following:12
Post Medieval Seafaring and Empire
Piracy in the new World
British Literature to 1800
Medieval Studies
Renaissance Drama
Renaissance Studies
Restoration Studies
Advanced Studies in Shakespeare
Survey of French Literature I: Middle Ages to 18th Century
The Fall of the Roman Empire
Castles and Crusades: Medieval Europe, 1050-1450
Medieval Woman
Christians, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Spain
The Global Renaissance
Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Topics in Russian and East European History
The Spanish Southwest
Introduction to Italian Literature and Culture I: From the Middle Ages to the 17th Century
Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
Dante and His Times
Music History I: Antiquity-1600 (Eurpidies-Monteverdi)
Music History II: 1600-1830 (Monteverdi-Beethoven)
Studies in Renaissance Philosophy
Studies in Medieval Philosophy
Studies in Medieval Spanish Literature
Studies in Spanish Literature of the Golden Age
Don Quijote de la Mancha
The Medieval Church
The Reformation Era

Relevant 394/494 and topics courses or Honors courses in Anthropology, Art History, English, French, German, History, Italian, Latin, Music, Philosophy, Spanish, or Theology and Religious Studies, to be approved by the program director, may also satisfy the upper-division requirements.

Program Directors

Thomas Barton, PhD, History

Turner Nevitt, PhD, Philosophy