Medieval Studies Degree Programs

Medieval studies degree programs are typically found at the graduate level, although some bachelor's degree programs do exist. Courses may cover medieval language, literature, theater and music. Continue reading for more information about degree programs, prerequisites and career options. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Medieval Studies Degree Program?

Medieval studies degree programs take an integrated approach to the history of the Middle Ages, looking to multiple disciplines to thoroughly understand the various societies of this time period. These programs primarily focus on the developments of Europe and the Middle East during the 5th and 6th centuries. While medieval studies bachelor degree programs are available, you'll have an easier time finding graduate programs for a Master of Art (M.A.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Degree LevelsBachelor's, master's and doctorate
Course TopicsArchitecture, music, theater, literature and language
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, prerequisites courses, standardized test scores and knowledge of Latin required for graduate programs
Career AreasTeaching or publishing (with bachelor's); professor, curator or archivist (with graduate degree)

What Courses Might I Take?

While working towards your Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Medieval Studies, expect to research and analyze a diverse array of medieval societies and their literature, art, philosophy, religion and language. Classes could cover topics such as the following:

  • Medieval theater
  • Architecture of the Middle Ages
  • Western literature through the Renaissance
  • Historical reasoning
  • The history of the English language
  • Women in the Middle Ages

A Master of Arts (M.A.) in Medieval Studies degree program typically allows you to narrow the focus to whichever facets of the field you find most interesting. Emphasis may be placed on research of more specialized topics, and you'll often be required to complete a thesis project. An M.A. in Medieval studies can take about two years to complete. Graduate level coursework might include the following topics:

  • Middle English or paleography
  • Medieval literary theory
  • Media and theory in the Middle Ages
  • Christianity in the Middle Ages
  • Medieval music

The focus of a degree program for a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies is generally on preparing and presenting a relevant doctoral dissertation. Dissertations require in-depth original research, and you should expect scrutiny on your work from the leading faculty. You'll usually be expected to pass comprehensive exams.

Will I Need to Complete Any Prerequisites?

You'll need a bachelor's degree, preferably in a related field, before entering an M.A. or Ph.D. program. Most programs require you to have received at least some credit for classes pertaining specifically to medieval studies. You should be able to demonstrate proficiency in at least one language significant to medieval studies as well as Latin. You may also need to provide scores from the Graduate Record Examinations before being accepted into a graduate program.

What Are My Career Options?

A B.A. in Medieval Studies could lead to entry-level positions within museums, to teaching or to the publication field. Programs may encourage you to broaden your job prospects by combining a medieval studies program with other majors. If you continue to the graduate level to attain your M.A. or Ph.D. in Medieval Studies, you could become a professor, curator or archivist.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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