Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Peter Baker

Program Director


The Medieval and Renaissance area program is intended for English majors intrigued by the cultural forms of the past and the varied perspectives they offer on cultural forms of the present. Participants in the program will be encouraged not only to pursue their own interests in English (and European) literature from the centuries between the writing of Beowulf and the publication of Paradise Lost, but also to delve into the social, historical, and intellectual contexts of the literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Students who wish to apply to the program should do so at the end of their second year, although some students may be admitted in their fifth semester.  Participants in the Medieval and Renaissance Area Program must:

Take at least 30 hours of English courses.  These must include:

1.  ENGL 3820.  ENGL 3810 is encouraged, but not required.

2.  Four other courses in ENMD or ENRN areas (literature written before 1700).  At least two of these courses should be at the 4000-level.

3.  In addition, take nine hours of coursework outside the department in areas that will complement and inform your Medieval/Renaissance literary studies. There are many relevant courses offered in e.g. History, Religious Studies, Art History, Philosophy; you might also offer a course or courses in the medieval and Renaissance literature of other languages (or in translation).

4.  We strongly encourage students in the Medieval and Renaissance program to work on an independent study project (ENGL 4993), or, if they are qualified, to consolidate their work within this field by writing a thesis in the Distinguished Majors Program.

Students admitted to this program may count twelve hours of ENRN courses towards their 30 hours of coursework for the English major.

Applications will be considered at any time during the academic year on a rolling basis up until April 15th.

To apply for this program please go to the Medieval and Renaissance area program Application page.

(Please note: this program is not to be confused with the interdisciplinary Medieval Studies undergraduate major, which is not administered through the English Department.)

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at