Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The Major Program

The Major in Medieval & Early Modern Studies serves as the nucleus 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 transdisciplinary 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 Studies (MST) 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. 

Career Alternatives

The major in Medieval & Early Modern Studies is a liberal arts degree providing excellent preparation for the rigors of professional schools as well as careers in law, museology, journalism, and teaching.

Major Advisor

See Program office.

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the Medieval & Early Modern Studies Bachelor of Arts is 66.

Preparatory Subject Matter
MST 020AEarly Medieval Culture (Intro to Late Antique & Early Medieval Worlds)4
MST 020BThe Culture of the High Middle Ages (Intro to Late Medieval & Early Modern Worlds)4
Choose 12 units:12
Medieval & Renaissance Art
Baroque to Modern Art
Islamic Art & Architecture
Major Works of the Medieval & Early Modern World
Master Authors in World Literature: Gilgamesh, Ramayana, Beowulf, Nibelungenlied
Master Authors in World Literature: Metamorphoses, Decameron, Arabian Nights, Canterbury Tales
Master Authors in World Literature: Chanson de Roland, El Cid, Igor’s Campaign, Morte D’Arthur
Master Authors in World Literature: Sakuntala, Tristan & Isolde, Aucassin & Nicolette, Gawain
Master Authors in World Literature: Swift, Rabelais, La Celestina, Simplicissimus
Literatures in English I: To 1700
Myth & Saga in the Germanic Cultures
History of Western Civilization
History of Western Civilization
Humanities Forum (Prior approval by Undergraduate Advisor necessary.)
Don Quixote & the Modern World
Philosophical Classics of the Ancient Era
Philosophical Classics of the Modern Era
MST 098/MST 099; total any combination:2
Directed Group Study
Special Study for Undergraduates
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.
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal22
Depth Subject Matter
In consultation with the undergraduate advisor, students choose a total of eleven courses; with at least three courses from the Medieval Period (denoted as M) and at least three courses the Early Modern Period (denoted as EM):44
The Islamic City
Arts of the Islamic Book EM
Early Italian Renaissance Art & Architecture EM
High & Late Italian Renaissance Art & Architecture EM
Baroque Art EM
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Medieval M
Undergraduate Seminar in Art History: Renaissance EM
Origins of Rhetoric M
Shakespeare & the Classical World EM
The European Middle Ages M
The Renaissance EM
Baroque & Neoclassicism EM
The Epic
Selected Topics in Comparative Literature 1
Chaucer: Troilus & the "Minor" Poems M
Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales M
Topics in 16th- & 17th-Century Literature EM
Shakespeare EM
Milton EM
British Drama to 1800 EM
Topics in Drama 1
Topics in Poetry 1
Literature by Women Before 1800 1
Topics in Literary & Critical Theory 1
Seminar in Literary Studies 1
Medieval French Literature & Society M
The French Renaissance EM
Baroque & Preclassicism EM
Private Lives & Public Secrets: The Early French Novel
Selected Topics in French Literature 1
Survey of German Literature, 800-1800
Topics in German Literature 1
Survey of German Culture EM
The Medieval Period in German Literature M
Reformation & Baroque EM
Major Movements in German Literature 1
German Lyric Poetry
Topics in German Intellectual History 1
Love in the Middle Ages (Discontinued) M
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Medieval M
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Modern Europe to 1815
Medieval History M
Medieval History M
Medieval History M
Selected Themes in Medieval History M
Topics in Early Modern European History EM
Christianity & Culture in Europe: 50-1450 M
Christianity & Culture in Europe: 1450-1600 EM
Early Modern European History EM
European History During the Renaissance & Reformation EM
The Old Regime: Absolution, Enlightenment & Revolution in Europe M
Crime & Punishment in Early Modern Europe EM
History of Science to the 18th Century EM
Scientific Revolution EM
Medieval & Renaissance Medicine
History of Germany, 1450 to 1789 EM
Women & Society in Europe: 1500-1789 EM
England: The Middle Ages M
England: The Early Modern Centuries EM
Middle Eastern History II: The Age of the Crusades, 1001-1400 M
Middle Eastern History III: The Ottomans, 1401-1730 EM
Introduction to Italian Literature
Medieval & Renaissance Poetry: St. Francis to Petrarch
Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) M
Boccaccio, Decameron, & the Renaissance Novella
Studies in the Cinquecento EM
Italian Literature of the Renaissance & the Baroque: From Cellini to Marino EM
Italian Drama from Machiavelli to the Enlightenment EM
Early Modern Italian Lyric EM
Italian Language & Society EM
Italian Literature in English: Boccaccio, Petrarch & the Renaissance EM
Italian Literature in English Translation: Dante, Divine Comedy M
Gender & Interpretation in the Renaissance EM
Readings in Latin Prose M
Livy M
Roman Comedy M
Vergil: Aeneid M
Sallust M
Catullus M
Horace: Odes & Epodes M
Horace: Satires & Epistles M
Roman Elegy
Ovid M
Cicero M
Lucretius M
Vergil: Eclogues & Georgics M
Roman Historians M
Readings in Republican Latin Literature M
Readings in Imperial Latin Literature M
Latin Prose Composition M
Medieval Latin M
Readings in Late Latin M
Special Themes in Medieval Cultures M
Special Themes in Renaissance Culture EM
Cross-Cultural Relations in the Medieval and/or Early Modern World
Seminar in Medieval & Early Modern Culture
Senior Thesis
Topics in Music Scholarship 1
Philosophy of Religion
Christian, Islamic, & Jewish Philosophers of the Middle Ages M
Descartes EM
Spinoza & Leibniz EM
Locke & Berkeley EM
Medieval Political Thought M
Foundations of Political Thought
History of Political Theory: Ancient M
Christian Origins M
Topics in Religious Studies 1
Survey of Spanish Literature to 1700
Golden Age Literature of Spain EM
Don Quijote I EM
Don Quijote II EM
Special Topics in Spanish Cultural & Literary Studies 1
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal44
Total Units66

Early Modern Period


Medieval Period


Consult with an undergraduate advisor regarding all “topics” related courses.