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Medieval Studies Degree Programs

Medieval studies, an interdisciplinary undergraduate program, integrates various approaches to the Middle Ages by medievalists in several departments. Medieval studies provides an excellent general education or a solid base for graduate work in a more specialized area. It can be an area of specialization for students majoring in any of the related departments. Study abroad is strongly encouraged.

Medieval studies concentrates on the period from 300 to 1500, combining courses in art and architecture, history, language, literature, music, philosophy, and religion. A typical course of study includes diverse topics, such as the Bible, the early Church, Byzantium, Islam, the Vikings, the Crusades, women in the Middle Ages, mysticism, romance, the Gothic cathedral, Chaucer, Dante, and medieval China and Japan. The program aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the medieval world-view in Europe and beyond, and the origins of the modern world.


The Tykeson College and Career Advising in Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall is UO’s new advising center, located on 13th Avenue, between Johnson and Chapman Halls. At Tykeson Hall, you can work with professional College and Career Advisors who can help you explore your interests, schedule your classes, plan for graduation, discuss career interests, and more.

You can schedule appointments with our Tykeson College and Career Advising team via the EAB Navigate app available in the App Store or Google Play. Please visit the Office of Academic Advising’s website for information about appointments and hours of operation.

Tykeson College and Career Advising is the academic and career advising destination for all students who:

  • Have not yet declared a major, referred to as exploring students
  • Are declared majors and minors in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Are considering another major or exploring other majors
  • Want to explore career options and opportunities

Students with declared majors and minors in the College of Arts and Sciences should also continue to seek advice from faculty when they are looking for specific information about their chosen major or detailed information about their major department and its curricular and co-curricular offerings.


To declare a major or minor in Medieval Studies please email with the following information:


Student ID#

Declaring Major or Minor

Dropping Major or Minor

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science

Medieval Studies Major

The major requires twelve medieval courses in at least three departments. Courses must be passed with grades of mid-C or better. Two years of Latin are recommended for those who want to do graduate work in Medieval Studies. Elementary Latin courses do not count for Medieval Studies credit, although Medieval Latin courses (offered at advanced levels) do count. Under special circumstances, it is possible for students who are highly proficient in Old English to appeal for second language certification through the Dean’s Office. For more information, contact the Medieval Studies director.

Four Year Degree Plan

The degree plan shown is only a sample of how students may complete their degrees in four years. There are alternative ways. Students should consult their advisor to determine the best path for them.

Medieval Studies Minor

The Medieval Studies minor requires seven medieval courses from at least two departments. Courses must be passed with grades of mid-C or better.

Medieval Studies Honors

A degree with honors in medieval studies allows a student to focus on an area of concentration in a written thesis. Requirements are as follows:

  1. Satisfaction of the requirements for the major
  2. A grade point average of 3.50 or better in courses taken to meet the upper-division requirements of the major. A minimum cumulative UO grade point average of 3.00
  3. A prospectus for the thesis approved by both the thesis director and the program director. The prospectus must be submitted no later than week seven of the term before the student plans to complete the honors project. When the prospectus has been approved, the student and thesis director will agree on a schedule of submission of work
  4. A senior thesis of substantial quality, representing new or substantially new work beyond any project or paper submitted within other university courses, approved by the thesis director and at least one other member of the medieval studies participating faculty. The thesis must be complete and ready for public presentation no later than week seven of the fall, winter, or spring term
  5. A presentation of the project. The student presents the honors project to students and faculty members and participates in an open discussion of the project with the audience. Presentations typically occur in weeks seven through ten of fall, winter, or spring terms and are arranged in consultation with both the director of the Medieval Studies Program and the student’s thesis advisor
  6. Honors in medieval studies are not given for substantially the same project or paper submitted for honors to any other unit in the university. Departmental honors theses shall be written exclusively for honors in medieval studies
  7. Students normally enroll in at least one but no more than two terms of Thesis (MDVL 403). Enrollment in Thesis is not required but is recommended. Thesis credits cannot serve to fulfill the minimum major requirements

Medieval Studies Courses

Medieval Studies Courses: Courses are drawn from all the participating departments and faculty. Please see the Medieval Studies Main Office, or the Director of the Program for a list of current courses. Each term’s course offerings are listed in the UO Course Schedule under Medieval Studies. Occasionally, topics courses and overseas study courses will count for the Major or Minor.

Suggested Courses

Students should plan their programs as early as possible with the aid of a medieval studies faculty advisor. With the advisor’s consent, courses numbered 199, 300, 399, 405, 407, 408, or 410 may be substituted for suggested courses. At least five of the courses must be taken at the University of Oregon. More information is available from the medieval studies office or from the Medieval Studies Program director.

Typical courses include (but are not limited to):

Art History. History of Western Art II (ARH 205), Cultures of the Medieval West (ARH 331), Japanese Art II (ARH 395), Early Christian Art (ARH 430), Byzantine Art (ARH 431), Romanesque Sculpture (ARH 432), Gothic Sculpture (ARH 433), Text and Image: Medieval Manuscripts (ARH 435), Gothic Architecture (ARH 438), Islamic Art and Architecture (ARH 490)

Chinese. Issues in Medieval Chinese Literature (CHN 424)

English. Introduction to the Major I (ENG 220), Age of King Arthur (ENG 225), The Bible and Literature (ENG 421), The Age of Beowulf (ENG 423), Medieval Romance (ENG 425), Chaucer (ENG 427), Old English I,II,III (ENG 428, 429, 430)

History. Western Civilization (HIST 101); Foundations of Easy Asian Civilization (HIST 190); Early Middle Ages in Europe (HIST 319), High Middle Ages in Europe (HIST 320), Late Middle Ages in Europe (HIST 321), The Crusades (HIST 322), The Age of Discoveries (HIST 327), Early Russia (HIST 345), Early China (HIST 387), Medieval Spain (HIST 437)

Humanities. Introduction to Humanities II (HUM 102)

Japanese. Introduction to Japanese Literature (JPN 305)

Judaic Studies. Medieval and Early Modern Judaism (JDST 212)

Music. Survey of Music History (MUS 267), Collegium Musicum (MUS 391)

Philosophy. History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval (PHIL 310)

Religious Studies. Introduction to the Bible I, II (REL 222, 223), Introduction to Islam (REL 233), History of Christianity (REL 321, 322), History of Eastern Christianity (REL 324), Martyrdom (REL 418), Early and Medieval Christian Heresy (REL 424), Sex and Gender in Early Christianity (REL 426), Islamic Mysticism (REL 432), Advanced Study of the Quran (REL 435), Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy (REL 436), Medieval Japanese Buddhism (REL 444)

Romance Languages. Survey of Peninsular Spanish Literature (SPAN 316), French Survey: Medieval and Renaissance (FR 317), Italian Survey: Medieval and Renaissance (ITAL 317), Dante in Translation (ITAL 341), Medieval Italian Culture (ITAL 441), Medieval and Renaissance Literature (ITAL 444)

Scandinavian. Vikings through the Icelandic Sagas (SCAN 259), Emergence of Nordic Cultures and Society (SCAN 340)

Medieval Studies Courses (MDVL)

199 Special Studies: [Topic] (1–5R)

399 Special Studies: [Topic] (1–5R)

403/503 Thesis (1–8R)

405 Reading and Conference: [Topic] (1–4R)

408/508 Workshop: [Topic] (1–4R)

410/510 Experimental Course: [Topic] (1–5R)