Medieval and Renaissance Studies (2020 - 2022)
Major: General Information
The program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the histories and cultures of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. It is specifically designed for students wishing to work in more than one field of specialization and to develop individualized programs of study around their own interests rather than those of a single departmental major. Individual advisement enables students to develop a coherent course of study that suits their needs and interests. Among the fields of concentration from which students may draw to develop their programs are (1) language and literature: classics, comparative literature, English, French, German, Hebrew and Judaic studies, Italian, Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, and Spanish and Portuguese; (2) art history; (3) history; (4) music; and (5) philosophy and religion. Other more specialized programs of study may be designed in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies.
Available to majors and minors is the Marco Polo Travel Award (granted to an outstanding student each year to allow her or him to travel abroad for research), as well as a field prize for outstanding work in the major.
The major requires ten courses (40 points) in medieval and Renaissance studies, all completed with a grade of C or better. At least five of the ten courses must be in a single field of concentration; three courses must be in one or more secondary field(s) of concentration; and at least one must be an interdisciplinary seminar. In addition, majors are expected to demonstrate proficiency through course work or examination in a classical language (Latin, ancient Greek, Arabic, or Hebrew) and in another foreign language appropriate to their field of concentration. Students who work in later periods and for whom knowledge of two modern foreign languages is advantageous may petition the director of undergraduate studies to substitute the ancient language requirement with a second modern foreign language.
Five courses (20 points) completed with a grade of C or better: two courses in a single field of concentration, one course in each of two other fields of concentration, and an interdisciplinary seminar.
Program Approval and Advisement
The director meets with students to discuss their general educational and career aims, as well as the specific opportunities provided by the program in medieval and Renaissance studies. All major and minor programs require the approval of the director of the program.
To qualify for the honors program in the medieval and Renaissance studies major, students must maintain at least a 3.65 cumulative average and a 3.65 major average. The honors track is a yearlong 8-point program, which requires students to write and orally defend a senior honors thesis. During the fall semester of their senior year, students who qualify for honors enroll in the Senior Honors Seminar (MEDI-UA 999); in the spring semester, they enroll in Honors Independent Study (MEDI-UA 998). The Senior Honors Seminar guides students through the research and writing of the thesis. In Honors Independent Study, students complete their honors theses under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Students interested in honors must consult with the director of the program by the end of junior year.
Accelerated B.A./M.A. Program
Qualifying students may apply to earn an accelerated B.A. in medieval and Renaissance studies and an M.A. in a related department. Interested students must consult with the director of the program. Requirements for the B.A./M.A. program are outlined in the pre-professional, accelerated, and specialized programs section of this Bulletin.
The program prepares and encourages its students to complement their work in medieval and Renaissance studies with a semester at one of NYU’s academic centers in Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, and Prague, or at one of the Western European exchange universities. Medieval and Renaissance studies majors should consult the director when making plans to study away.