Medieval and Renaissance Studies Overview

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at

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.