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Program of Study (CAS Bulletin)


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, Italian, Middle Eastern (Arabic), Hebrew and Judaic, 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 are 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.

Many majors in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program have gone on to graduate work in medieval studies, early modern studies, Celtic studies, archival and/or museum studies, religious studies, history, art history, English, foreign language literatures and cultures, and music. Other majors have gone on to professional schools (medicine, law, management), as well as to careers in business and education.


Ten courses (40 points) in medieval and Renaissance studies, of which at least five must be in a single field of concentration; three courses in one or more secondary field(s) of concentration; and at least one interdisciplinary seminar. In addition, students are expected to show 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), of which at least two must be in a single field of concentration, one 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.

Honors Program

To qualify for the honors program in medieval and Renaissance studies, 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, during the course of which students write and orally defend an honors thesis. The thesis is an extended research paper written on a topic of the student's choice related to his or her course of study and directed by a faculty adviser. During the fall semester of their senior year, students who qualify for honors enroll in the Senior Honors Seminar (MEDI-UA 998), a colloquium for thesis writers; in the spring semester, they enroll in Honors Independent Study (MEDI-UA 999). The Senior Honors Seminar guides students through the research and writing of the thesis, covering such areas as choosing a topic, compiling a bibliography, conducting library and web-based research, properly documenting sources, and developing research and writing methods for graduate-level study. In Honors Independent Study, students complete their thesis projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Students interested in pursuing the honors program should consult with the director of the program by the second semester of their junior year.

The requirements of the honors program are as follows: completion of the major's requirements; successful completion of the honors seminar; completion of an honors thesis; and an oral presentation on the honors thesis and its bibliography.

Study Away

MARC prepares and encourages its students to complement their work in medieval and Renaissance studies at one of NYU's Global programs in Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, and Prague or at one of the Western European exchange universities. For course information, see "Cross-Listed Courses," in course descriptions on this site.

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 Preprofessional, Accelerated, and Specialized Programs section of this bulletin.