Medieval Studies

Lori Kruckenberg, Program Director
311 Susan Campbell Hall

Medieval studies, an interdisciplinary undergraduate program, integrates various approaches to the Middle Ages by medievalists in several departments. Medieval studies provides an excellent general education or a solid base for graduate work in a more specialized area. Study abroad is strongly encouraged.

Medieval studies concentrates on the period from 300 to 1500, combining courses in art and architecture, history, language, literature, music, philosophy, and religion. A typical course of study includes diverse topics such as the Bible, the early Church, Byzantium, Islam, the Vikings, the Crusades, women in the Middle Ages, mysticism, romance, the Gothic cathedral, Chaucer, Dante, and medieval China and Japan. The program aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the medieval worldview in Europe and beyond, and the origins of the modern world.

Participating Faculty

Barbara K. Altmann, Romance languages

Ina Asim, history

Judith R. Baskin, Judaic studies

Martha J. Bayless, English

Louise M. Bishop, honors college

Steven T. Brown, comparative literature

Stephanie Clark, English

Frederick Colby, religious studies

James W. Earl, English

Warren Ginsberg, English

Andrew E. Goble, history

Deborah A. Green, Judaic studies

D. Gantt Gurley, German and Scandinavian

David Hollenberg, religious studies

Maile Hutterer, history of art and architecture

Mary Jaeger, classics

Lori Kruckenberg, music

Charles H. Lachman, history of art and architecture

C. Anne Laskaya, English

Eric Mentzel, music

F. Regina Psaki, Romance languages

Stephen J. Shoemaker, religious studies

Richard A. Sundt, history of art and architecture

Mark T. Unno, religious studies

Cynthia M. Vakareliyska, linguistics

Marc Vanscheeuwijck, music

David Wacks, Romance languages

Lisa Wolverton, history

Undergraduate Studies

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Medieval studies majors must complete twelve medieval courses in at least three departments with a grade of mid-C or better. At least 24 credits must be in upper-division work. Two years of Latin are recommended for those who want to do graduate work in medieval studies. See the program website for more information.

Honors in Medieval Studies

A degree with honors in medieval studies allows a student to focus on an area of concentration in a written thesis. Requirements are as follows: 

  1. Satisfaction of the requirements for the major
  2. A grade point average of 3.50 or better in courses taken to meet the upper-division requirements of the major. A minimum cumulative UO grade point average of 3.00
  3. A prospectus for the thesis approved by both the thesis director and the program director. The prospectus must be submitted no later than week seven of the term before the student plans to complete the honors project. When the prospectus has been approved, the student and thesis director will agree on a schedule of submission of work
  4. A senior thesis of substantial quality, representing new or substantially new work beyond any project or paper submitted within other university courses, approved by the thesis director and at least one other member of the medieval studies participating faculty. The thesis must be complete and ready for public presentation no later than week seven of the fall, winter, or spring term
  5. A presentation of the project. The student presents the honors project to students and faculty members and participates in an open discussion of the project with the audience. Presentations typically occur in weeks seven through ten of fall, winter, or spring terms and are arranged in consultation with both the director of the Medieval Studies Program and the student’s thesis advisor
  6. Honors in medieval studies are not given for substantially the same project or paper submitted for honors to any other unit in the university. Departmental honors theses shall be written exclusively for honors in medieval studies
  7. Students normally enroll in at least one but no more than two terms of Thesis (MDVL 403). Enrollment in Thesis is not required but is recommended. Thesis credits cannot serve to fulfill the minimum major requirements

Minor Requirements

Students who want a minor in medieval studies must complete seven medieval courses in at least two departments.

Suggested Courses

Students should plan their programs as early as possible with the aid of a medieval studies faculty advisor. With the advisor’s consent, courses numbered 199, 399, 405, 407, 408, or 410 may be substituted for suggested courses. At least five of the courses must be taken at the University of Oregon. More information is available from the medieval studies office or from the Medieval Studies Program director.

ARB 331Reading Classical Arabic4
CHN 424Issues in Medieval Chinese Literature4
CLAS 110Classical Mythology4
CLAS 314Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity4
Additional Latin and Greek course offerings, depending on topic
ENG 225Age of King Arthur4
ENG 423The Age of Beowulf4
ENG 425Medieval Romance4
ENG 427Chaucer4
ENG 428–430Old English I-III12
HIST 101Western Civilization4
HIST 120Foundations of Islamic Civilization4
HIST 190Foundations of East Asian Civilizations4
HIST 319Early Middle Ages in Europe4
HIST 320High Middle Ages in Europe4
HIST 321Late Middle Ages in Europe4
HIST 322The Crusades4
HIST 345Early Russia4
HIST 387Early China4
HIST 396Samurai in Film4
HIST 414Ancient Rome: [Topic] (depends on topic)4
HIST 437Medieval Spain4
HIST 490Japan: [Topic] (The Classical Age)4
HIST 498Early Japanese Culture and Society: [Topic] (Buddhism and Society in Medieval Japan; Samurai and War; Medieval Japan)4
History of Art and Architecture
ARH 205History of Western Art II4
ARH 331Cultures of the Medieval West4
HUM 102Introduction to the Humanities II4
HUM 300Themes in the Humanities 14
ITAL 317Italian Survey: Medieval and Renaissance4
ITAL 441Medieval Italian Culture: [Topic]4-6
ITAL 444Medieval and Renaissance Literature: [Topic] (depends on topic)4-6
JPN 305Introduction to Japanese Literature4
Judaic Studies
JDST 212Medieval and Early Modern Judaism4
HBRW 313Postbiblical Literature4
Additional courses in Judaic Studies and Hebrew, depending on topic
MUS 267Survey of Music History4
MUS 391Collegium Musicum1-3
PHIL 310History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval4
Religious Studies
REL 222–223Introduction to the Bible I-II8
REL 233Introduction to Islam4
REL 321–322History of Christianity8
REL 324History of Eastern Christianity4
REL 335Introduction to the Qur'an4
REL 355Mysticism4
REL 414Biblical Book: [Topic]4
REL 418Martyrdom4
REL 424Early and Medieval Christian Heresy4
REL 426Sex and Gender in Early Christianity4
REL 432Islamic Mysticism: [Topic]4
REL 435Advanced Study of the Qur’an: [Topic]4
REL 444Medieval Japanese Buddhism4
SCAN 259Vikings through the Icelandic Sagas4
SCAN 343Norse Mythology4
SCAN 344Medieval Hero and Monster4

Depending on the topic; may only be taken once for medieval studies major or minor credit.



Course usage information

MDVL 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 399. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 403. Thesis. 1-8 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 405. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 406. Field Studies: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 408. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 410. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 503. Thesis. 1-8 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 508. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.


Course usage information

MDVL 510. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.