The Medieval and Renaissance Studies program is designed to provide the student with a coherent, multidisciplinary, and cross-cultural course of study of the arts, history, literature, and thought from late antiquity to the 18th century. Students are expected to elect work from three groups of disciplines: art history and music; history, political science, philosophy, and religion; and language and literature. In addition, students are expected to gain a reading knowledge of requisite foreign languages and, in their senior year, write an interdisciplinary essay under the supervision of one or more of the participating faculty.
Freshmen interested in medieval and Renaissance studies should consult with the director soon after arriving on campus. Freshmen considering majoring in the program should elect some of the introductory courses in Greek and Roman studies, philosophy, religion, political science, and history during their first year at the college. Students should select introductory courses in the two disciplines that they hope to study at the higher level. Art 105 provides a grounding for the program, as do the historical sections of English 101. Students should think carefully about the language that they plan to take in the program. The Dark Ages (History 116) and High Middle Ages (117) are valuable introductions to medieval history. Latin is highly recommended for students planning to enter graduate school in medieval studies. Since many majors study abroad, it is wise to begin or continue a language appropriate to the country anticipated.