Skip to Content


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.

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 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)