Undergraduate Studies

The Annunciation
The Annunciation, MS 161
Special Collections, University of Wisconsin

The study of the medieval past brings many rewards on its own terms:

  • the intellectual challenge of investigating cultural difference
  • the ability to trace the origins of familiar modern ideas, whether on the level of the  individual (love, marriage) or the institutional (political beliefs, religious stereotypes)
  • the ability to imagine new answers to questions that our contemporary society may answer in radically different ways

The Certificate in Medieval Studies rewards students for undertaking interdisciplinary work across several departments. This endeavor provides the necessary tools for viewing clearly not only a distant society, but also, in its reflection, our own.

Like a minor, the Certificate documents a rigorous course of study in addition to the major(s). It attests ambitious intellectual goals as well as the ability to imagine historical problems in a transnational perspective. As a credential, it demonstrates a capacity for comparative critical thinking and analysis, skills that appeal to a wide range of potential employers.

Requirements for the Certificate in Medieval Studies

The Certificate in Medieval Studies is designed to encourage pursuit of interdisciplinary work among several departments.

For more information about the Certificate, see https://guide.wisc.edu/undergraduate/letters-science/history/medieval-studies-certificate/

Summary of the Requirements

Five courses (15 credits) in the medieval area, according to the following distributional requirements:

  1. One of the following courses (3 credits) is required:
    • History 115: Medieval Europe 410-1500
    • ILS 201: Western Culture: Science, Technology, Philosophy
  2. Two courses (6 credits) from Category A: History, History of Science, Philosophy, and Political Science
  3. Two courses from Category B: Languages, Literature, Visual Arts, and Music

Additionally, all certificate students must maintain a 3.0 minimum grade point average in the courses that count toward the Certificate.

Recommended Language Study

While language study is not required for the Certificate, all candidates are encouraged to enhance the work they can do in Medieval Studies by acquiring a reading knowledge of a modern or historical European language as early as possible. Studying Latin in addition is strongly recommended for those who plan to do graduate work in the field.

Undergraduate Advising

The Director serves as the undergraduate advisor for all students pursuing the Certificate in Medieval Studies. All courses not listed in the approved course listing must be approved by the advisor in order to count toward the Certificate. Students who have taken courses in the medieval area at other universities or while studying abroad may petition the advisor to approve those courses as substitutes for the Certificate, according to the above distributional requirements.

For further information or to sign up for the Certificate, contact the Director:

Dr. Elizabeth Lapina
Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Department of History
3211 Mosse Humanities Building
455 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706-1483
email: lapina@wisc.edu

To find out what is being offered in a given semester, please consult Course Search & Enroll app ( https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-search-enroll/ )