Graduate Studies

Chronicle with Rubrication
Chronicle with Rubrication, MS 57
Special Collections, University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin has a committed community of faculty and graduate students undertaking scholarly research in medieval fields. We gather regularly to discuss our own work as well as to host visiting lectures and conferences. The Program in Medieval Studies draws faculty from many departments and programs: African Languages, Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, Folklore, French and Italian, German, History, History of Science, Languages and Cultures of Asia, Linguistics, Medical History, Music, Religious Studies, Scandinavian Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, and Women’s Studies.

The Medieval Studies Program is not a degree-granting department; those wishing to pursue a MA or PhD degree in a medieval topic are encouraged to apply directly to the most relevant department.

Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin have many opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. They can also acquire solid training in a variety of philological and linguistic skills as well as theoretical approaches necessary for work within the field.

While we do not offer an MA or a PhD specifically in Medieval Studies, interested students can pursue either a Certificate in Medieval Studies or a Distributed Minor in Medieval Studies. These credentials attest a variety of coursework and an interdisciplinary approach to the field that is useful for those seeking academic positions.

Moreover, the Program in Medieval Studies supports the research needs of its graduate students in a variety of ways. More information about support and resources can be found on the Resources section of this site. Consider joining The Graduate Association for Medieval Studies!

How to Apply for a PhD Minor in Medieval Studies

Many graduate students take an interdisciplinary selection of medieval courses to fulfill the Option B minor for the Ph.D. degree. This minor requires 3 medieval courses (9 credit hours), at least one of which is to be taken outside of the candidate’s home department.

The requirements for the Option B PhD minor are found on the Graduate School website.

How to Apply for a Certificate in Medieval Studies

Students can enroll in the Certificate Program at any time during their university career but are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

The process is simple:

  • After having reviewed the requirements for the certificate, print out the Certificate Declaration Form (click to view and print out PDF). Fill out the top half of the form and return to the Director, whose contact information appears below. You are encouraged to meet with the Director to discuss your interests and future plan of study.
  • When you have finished the requirements for the certificate, either bring or send your transcript to the Director in order to have the certificate awarded. You do not have to wait until graduation to receive the Certificate. If requirements have been fulfilled, your Certificate will be noted on your record, and the Medieval Studies Program will send you the Certificate.

Graduate Courses

The following courses are offered fairly regularly.

These courses all count towards the Certificate in Medieval Studies or the PhD minor. Departmental offerings are marked as “Category A” (History, History of Science, Philosophy, and Political Science) or “Category B” (Languages, Literature, Visual Arts, and Music). Courses that have a significant medieval content but do not appear below (or courses taken at another university or on a study-abroad program) may be substituted for these courses where appropriate; consult the Director with any queries.

To find out what is being offered in a given semester, please consult the Schedule of Classes website maintained by the Office of the Registrar.

Graduate offerings are usually taught in a “Topics” or “Seminar” slot and these subjects will vary from semester to semester so it is best to consult individual departments for recent classes.

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Art History (all courses Category B)

  • 201: Ancient and Medieval Art
  • 310: Early Christian and Byzantine Art
  • 311: Medieval Art
  • 318: Romanesque and Gothic Art and Architecture
  • 320: Italian Renaissance Art
  • 321: Italian Art: 1250-1400
  • 322: Italian Art from Donatello to Leonardo da Vinci: 1400-1500
  • 330: The Painting and Graphic Arts of Germany, 1350-1530
  • 331: Netherlandish Painting of the 15th Century
  • 415: Topics in Medieval Art
  • 515: Proseminar in Medieval Art
  • 525: Proseminar in Italian Renaissance Art
  • 535: Proseminar in Northern European Painting
  • 600: Special Topics in Art History (when topic is medieval)
  • 815: Seminar: Medieval Art
  • 825: Seminar: Italian Renaissance Art
  • 835: Seminar: Northern European Art

Comparative Literature (all courses Category B)

  • 377: Literary Periods (when topic is medieval)

English (all courses Category B)

  • 320: Old English
  • 321: Middle English
  • 359: Beowulf
  • 360: The Anglo-Saxons
  • 361: A Study of an Outstanding Figure in Medieval English Literature
  • 361: Chaucer’s Courtly Poetry
  • 362: A Study of a Theme In Medieval English Literature
  • 365: Early Medieval Literature (1066-1350)
  • 367: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
  • 369: Contemporaries and Immediate Successors of Chaucer
  • 751: Chaucer and the Courtly Tradition
  • 752: Late Medieval Religious Literature
  • 753: Medieval Literature (topics vary)
  • 950: Seminar: Topics in Medieval Literature

Folklore (all courses Category B)

  • 474: Celtic-Scandinavian Cultural Interrelations

French (all courses Category B)

  • 430: Readings in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (topics course)
  • 701: Introduction à l’ancien français
  • 703: La littérature française du XIVe et du XVe siècle
  • 705: La littérature française des débuts jusqu’à la fin du XIIIe siècle
  • 709: Medieval Manuscripts and Textual Criticism [also Italian]
  • 939: La Littérature médiévale

German (all courses Category B)

  • 611: Survey of German Literature to 1750
  • 650: History of the German Language
  • 651: Introduction to Middle High German
  • 652: Readings in Middle High German
  • 701: Literature of the Middle Ages (750-1400)
  • 755: Old Germanic Languages
  • 768: Comparative and Historical Grammar of the Old Germanic Languages

History (all courses Category A)

  • 115: Medieval Europe 410-1500 (unless used to satisfy requirement #1 above)
  • 200: Historical Studies (when topic is medieval)
  • 205: The Making of the Islamic World: The Middle East, 500-1500
  • 309: The Crusades: Christianity and Islam
  • 311: Schools and Learning in the Medieval World
  • 312: The Medieval Church
  • 313: Introduction to Byzantine History and Civilization
  • 314: Problems in Byzantine History and Civilization
  • 316: Latin Paleography
  • 317: Medieval Social and Intellectual History, 400-1200
  • 318: Medieval Social and Intellectual History, 1200-1450
  • 321: Economic Life in Medieval Europe
  • 325: History of Medieval France
  • 333: The Renaissance
  • 366: Medieval Monasticism
  • 413: Early Medieval Europe, 300-1000
  • 417: History of Russia
  • 426: The History of Punishment
  • 431: History of Scandinavia to 1815
  • 439: Islamic History from the Origin of Islam to the Ottoman Empire
  • 459: The Rule of Law: History and Theory
  • 539: The Middle East and the Balkans during the Ottoman Era, 1200-1600
  • 600: Advanced Seminar in History (when topic is medieval)
  • 719: Proseminar: Medieval History
  • 720: Selected Topics in Medieval History
  • 805: Seminar–Medieval History

History of Science (all courses Category A)

  • 201: Origins of Scientific Thought (unless used to satisfy requirement #1 above) [also ILS]
  • 322: Ancient and Medieval Science
  • 401: History of Pharmacy
  • 507: Health, Disease, and Healing I
  • 562: Byzantine Medicine and Pharmacy
  • 622: Studies in Ancient and Medieval Science
  • 903: Seminar: Medieval, Renaissance and 17th-Century Science

Integrated Liberal Studies

  • 201: Western Culture: Science, Technology, Philosophy I (unless used to satisfy requirement #1 above) [also Hist Sci, with a different title] (A)
  • 203: Western Culture: Literature and the Arts I (B)
  • 205: Western Culture: Political, Economic, and Social Thought I (A)
  • 271: Pre-Copernican Astronomy and Cosmology in Cross-cultural Perspective (A)

Italian (all courses Category B)

  • 321: Introduction to Italian Literature I (Beginnings through the Renaissance)
  • 659-660: Dante’s Divina Commedia
  • 661-662: Il Trecento
  • 671: Il Duecento
  • 709: Medieval Manuscripts and Textual Criticism [also French]
  • 771: History of the Italian Language

Jewish Studies

  • 371: Topics in Jewish Civilization (when topic is medieval) (either Category A or Category B depending on the focus that semester)
  • 377-378: Jewish Cultural History (A)
  • 473: Jewish Civilization in Medieval Spain (A)
  • 490: Topics in Jewish Studies (when topic is medieval) (either Category A or Category B depending on the focus that semester)

Latin (all courses Category B)

  • 563: Mediaeval Latin

Literature in Translation (all courses Category B)

  • 235: The World of the Sagas
  • 253: Dante’s Divine Comedy
  • 255: Boccaccio’s Decameron
  • 256: Images of the Individual in the Italian Renaissance
  • 271: Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature, Middle Ages-1900
  • 342: Mythology of Scandinavia
  • 345: The Scandinavian Tale and Ballad
  • 346: The Icelandic Sagas
  • 347: Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore

Medieval Studies

  • 185: Introduction to Medieval Studies for Honors (either Category A or Category B depending on the focus that semester)
  • 215: Life in the Middle Ages: An Interdisciplinary Course (unless used to satisfy requirement #1 above) (A)
  • 351: Arthurian Legend and Literature (B)
  • 368: The Bible in the Middle Ages [also Hebrew, History, Jewish St, Religious St] (B)
  • 550: Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies in Medieval Civilization (either Category A or Category B depending on the focus that semester)
  • 551: Advanced Studies in Medieval Literature   (B)
  • 553: Advanced Topics in Medieval Civilization(either Category A or Category B depending on the focus that semester)
  • 685: Honors Seminar in Medieval Studies (either Category A or Category B depending on the focus that semester)

Music (all courses Category B)

  • 411: Survey of Music in the Middle Ages
  • 412: Survey of Music in the Renaissance
  • 923: Seminar in Notation

Philosophy (all courses Category A)

  • 435: Jewish Philosophy from Antiquity to the 17th Century

Political Science (all courses Category A)

  • 501: The Development of Ancient and Medieval Western Political Thought

Scandinavian Studies (all courses Category B)

  • 373: Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: Middle Ages to 1900
  • 407-408: Old Norse
  • 409: Survey of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature
  • 430: The Vikings
  • 433: The Scandinavian Tale and Ballad
  • 435: The Icelandic Sagas
  • 444: Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore
  • 474: Celtic-Scandinavian Cultural Interrelations

Spanish (all courses Category B)

  • 414: Literatura de la Edad Media Castellana (ss. XII-XV)
  • 503-504: Survey of Medieval Literature
  • 541: Old Spanish
  • 546: History of the Spanish Language
  • 718: Topics in Medieval Spanish Literature
  • 811: Philological Seminar: Old Spanish
  • 841: Seminar: Libro de Buen Amor, Celestina, Corbacho
  • 842: Seminar: Medieval Literature (topics course)

Women's Studies (all courses Category A)

  • 416: Women in Medieval Society