Students at Yale University looking to learn about the Middle Ages can now join a new undergraduate program. The Medieval Studies Certificate Program will begin in the fall of 2022.
Yale University has long been an important center for Medieval Studies in North America, and has about forty scholars involved in teaching and research in the field. Their Program in Medieval Studies currently has eleven postgraduate students pursuing the PhD, and this year also marked the beginning of their one-year MA program.
However, there has not been an undergraduate component to its program in recent memory, despite having a wide variety of courses. The new certificate program changes that.
“The Medieval Studies faculty designed and implemented a new Undergraduate Certificate, which will be open to students graduating in 2022 and onward,” explains Emily Thornbury, associate professor of English and chair of Medieval Studies. “We know from experience that many undergraduates are passionately interested in a diverse range of medieval topics. The goal of the Certificate in Medieval Studies is to help them expand and deepen those interests and recognize their focused study of the medieval world.”
The program expects that some students will be aiming for eventual graduate study in the medieval field, while others will come from other undergraduate areas but have an interest in the humanities and will choose the Certificate in lieu of a second major.
Professor Thornbury adds that “we designed the Certificate to be flexible so that it offers structure and guidance to those with a general interest in Medieval Studies, and ensures interdisciplinary breadth for students whose research is already focused on the medieval. Certificate advisors—of which there are currently eight, representing seven different disciplines—play an active role in helping students curate a program of study within the wide menu of course offerings.
“The basic requirements are successful completion of five courses, representing at least two different geographical zones. There is no ‘core’ region for the Certificate, however: students may choose to focus their interests in any area of the medieval world. Students are also required to attend three lectures or panels on medieval topics, and to submit a two-page account of the event and what they learned. In this way, students from every field will learn about the most exciting new research going on at Yale and worldwide. Whatever our Certificate graduates go on to do, we are confident that their work in Medieval Studies will enrich their knowledge of the past, and expand their ideas about possible futures.”
Top Image: The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. This library hosts a number of medieval manuscripts. Photo by Gunnar Klack / Flickr