Academic Course Catalogs

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Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Michael Agnew, PhD, Coordinator

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:

Students must take HIST 103, The Medieval World. The other lower-division course may be chosen from the following:

ARTH 133 Introduction to Art History I
ARTH 134 Introduction to Art History II
ARTH 136 The Year 1500: A Global History of Art and Architecture
ENGL 280 Introduction to Shakespeare
HIST 108 The Atlantic World, 1500-1700
HIST 109 The Pacific World, 1500-1700
PHIL 271 History of Medieval Philosophy
THRS 116 Introduction to Biblical Studies

Upper Division:

ANTH 339 Post-Medieval Seafaring and Empire
ANTH 362 Piracy in the New World
ENGL 300 British Literature to 1800
ENGL 310 Dante
ENGL 312 Studies in Medieval Literature
ENGL 314 Chaucer
ENGL 324 Renaissance Drama
ENGL 326 Renaissance Studies
ENGL 328 Milton
ENGL 332 Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Studies
ENGL 334 Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama
ENGL 420 Advanced Studies in Shakespeare
FREN 320 Survey of French Literature I: Middle Ages to the 18th Century
HIST 321 The Fall of the Roman Empire, 250-1050
HIST 322 Castles and Crusades: Medieval Europe, 1050-1450
HIST 323 Medieval Women
HIST 324 Christians, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Spain
HIST 331 Renaissance Europe
HIST 346 Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
HIST 353 Spain to 1820
HIST 357 Topics in Russian and East European History
HIST 360 Colonial Latin America
HIST 382 The Spanish Southwest
HIST 386 The Pacific Ocean in History
MUSC 330 Music History I: Antiquity-1600 (Euripides-Monteverdi)
MUSC 331 Music History II: 1600-1830 (Monteverdi-Beethoven)
PHIL 467 Studies in Renaissance Philosophy
PHIL 471 Studies in Medieval Philosophy
SPAN 422 Studies in Medieval Spanish Literature
SPAN 423 Studies in Spanish Literature of the Golden Age
SPAN 424 Don Quijote
THRS 354 The Medieval Church
THRS 355 The Reformation Era

Relevant 394/494 and other topics courses or Honors courses in Anthropology, Art History, English, French, German, History, Latin, Music, Philosophy, Spanish, or Theology and Religious Studies, to be approved by the program coordinator, may also satisfy the Upper-Division Requirements.