Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Unlike the vertical orientations of departmental disciplines, which follow one field of study from its beginnings to the present, the medieval and renaissance studies program at Purdue cuts horizontally across fifteen subject areas such as art, architecture, drama, history, music, vernacular and Latin literature, philosophy, and political science. The program presents a variety of ways to acquire perspectives concerning the nature and origins of the world in which we live.

Points of Pride

  • Founded in 1970, the interdepartmental program coordinates a broad range of Purdue’s medieval-related activities: the undergraduate major and minor; two interdisciplinary courses; a mini-conference with visiting speakers; Medieval Mondays (lunch-time presentations by faculty and students); outreach activities; and cooperation with related activities, such as the Conference on Romance Languages, Literatures and Film; the Renaissance Consortium; the Chancel Players; and the Purdue Medieval Society.
  • The medieval slide collection houses over 1,400 slide sets of medieval art and architecture. A special focus of the collection is manuscript illumination.
  • Purdue is a member of the Newberry Library Consortium and the Medieval Academy of America's Committee on Centers and Regional Associations.
  • Comitatus, a student organization, encourages fellowship and fosters dialogue on a range of topics beyond the classroom.


  • Management consulting
  • Many other positions in business/management, not necessarily related to this major but able to capitalize on students’ broad-based liberal arts skill set and integrated understanding of Western civilization
  • Graduate school

Plan of Study

A Minor in another field is REQUIRED

PREREQUISITES: In order to complete this Major, the student MUST take MARS 22000 Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Studies (fulfills Western Heritage Requirement). The foreign language requirement of the core mus be satisfied by taking or establishing credit in 20200 (Level IV).

REQUIREMENTS for the Major: Specialization within the MARS Major is possible, BUT not more than 12 hours may be chosen from any one subject area. Courses must be taken fromfive of the following subject areas: Art & Design, Classics, Communication, English, French, German, History, Italian, Latin, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Russian, Spanish, or Theatre.

A. THREE of the following courses are required (9)

HIST 10300 Introduction to the Medieval World or HIST 40300 Europe in the Reformation
AD 35900 Medieval European Art # or AD 45100 Italian Renaissance Art
PHIL 30200 History of Medieval Philosophy
NOTE: A course used to satisfy Requirement A cannot be used to satisfy Requirement D(1) or D(2).

B. THREE courses in literature, language and culture, are required (9)

TWO of them in a foreign language beyond the core requirement and one in a major author.

B(1) Choose TWO

NOTE: If the core requirement has been satisfied in a foreign language other than those listed above, the student may satisfy this Medieval Studies requirement through additional, advanced course work (6) in that language or by taking two semester of intensive LATN (LATN 60100/60300/60500)*

B(2) Choose one of the Major Author courses that are currently available.

C. TWO Courses

D. ONE course EACH in D(1) (Medieval) and D(2) (Renaissance), and an additional course elected from D(1) or D(2). (9)

Program Course Requirements (57-58 credits): (See PDF for full list here)

ONE of the following:

ENGL 10600 First Year Composition
ENGL 10800 Accelerated First Year Composition

COM 1140 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Other Language (12) (Proficiency through level IV in one language)
West Heritage
United States Tradition
Other Cultures
Aesthetic Awareness
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Gender Issues
Social Ethics
Individual and Society
Global Perspective
Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences Lab

Electives (20-21 credits)

University Core Requirements

Courses selected above must meet the following University Core Requirements:

Human Cultures Humanities
Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
Information Literacy
Science Selective
Science Selective
Science Technology Society Selective
Written Communication
Oral Communication
Quantitative Reasoning

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Print Plan of Study

Medieval & Renaissance Studies

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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