The medieval period brought about foundational choices that have made the world what it is today. The field of medieval and ancient studies includes European literature and culture from about 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D.
At UMN Morris, the medieval and ancient studies program teaches you to think synthetically across a variety of disciplines. It’s also about making connections, like the connection between the medieval and ancient past and the 21st century. By creating these connections, you’ll become skilled at recognizing patterns in the world around you and understanding the trends that make the modern world what it is. Many current challenges in the areas of Western law, human rights, attitudes toward power, authority, gender relations, and sexual mores are derived from the ways in which they were viewed a millennium ago.
The medieval studies curriculum covers topics in various language studies, anthropology, art history, history, mathematics, music, philosophy, theatre arts, and other areas like gender and religion, with historical roots in ancient and classical periods and Byzantine cultures. Coursework will enhance your understanding of artistic and material relics of the Middle Ages. Readings of creative works, scholarly research, and dramatic presentations are discussed in a welcoming atmosphere.
Because of how long ago the medieval time period was and the challenges of its languages and cultures, medieval studies, more than many other disciplines, necessitates that you learn how to collaborate effectively with others who have perspectives distant from your own.
Student Learning Outcomes
By completing a degree in medieval and ancient studies, you will be able to
- demonstrate a basic knowledge of the key dates, people, places, and events of the European Middle Ages;
- read, write, and discuss primary and/or secondary texts related to the European Middle Ages;
- demonstrate a basic knowledge of medieval cultures, languages, schools of thought, and religion in the Middle Ages and how these are reflective of personal and social contexts;
- critically analyze, interpret, and synthesize various types of evidence for the medieval period;
- explain ways in which the medieval past, including language, has a variety of specifics tied to places, times, and cultural contexts;
- understand the way languages work and construct meaning; and
- work meaningfully with incomplete information.
General Education Requirements
The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.
Careers & Graduate School
There are many different career options when you pursue a medieval and ancient studies degree. Some include the following:
- Collections manager
- Communications specialist
- Cultural anthropologist
- Foreign service officer
- Heritage interpreter
- Restoration technician
As a medieval and ancient studies graduate, you can also pursue advanced study in a graduate program in medieval and ancient studies, as well as in other disciplines:
- Bilingual methodology
- International affairs
- International relations
- Master of business administration
- Public affairs
- Religious studies
The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.
Students are immediately considered for a scholarship package upon admission to UMN Morris.
Research & Engagement
When pursuing a degree in medieval and ancient studies at UMN Morris, you’ll have multiple ways to share and publish your work, exchange ideas with established scholars, and become active in the medievalist community.
Past medieval and ancient studies students have done a variety of research-related or creative projects:
- Organized manuscript production material and manuscript facsimile collections in the library
- Created reproductions of medieval books
- Presented literary and cultural papers at conferences
- Published papers in literary journals
In today's increasingly interdependent world, study abroad is the most effective way to improve language abilities, gain access to medieval artifacts, broaden academic horizons, globalize your world view, expand your career opportunities, advance cross-cultural and problem-solving skills, and gain personal and professional confidence. Past medieval- and ancient-focused study abroad programs have been trips to Rome, England, Ireland, and the Italian Alps led by UMN-Morris faculty members.
Other ways to engage with medieval studies include field trips to view medieval manuscript collections or helping assemble a teaching collection of materials used in the production of medieval manuscripts, a collection of medieval manuscript leaves, and reproductions of medieval manuscripts.
Some courses involve experiential and community-engaged learning, including cooking medieval food, creating manuscripts, participating in simulations of political disputes in ancient Greece and Rome, and hosting a mini Renaissance festival at the city library.
The university’s Medieval and Classics Club has been inactive in the past, but students always have the option to start it up again. A few other student organizations in the areas of language, diversity, and international studies include: the Asian Student Association, Black Student Union, Circle of Nation Indigenous Association, Entre Nous (French Club), Jewish Student Union, La Union LatinX, Muslim Student Association, and Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.
Opportunities for Students
The Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) offers students an opportunity to present research plus scholarly and creative work. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances.
- Creative Activity
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides University of Minnesota undergraduates from every college, major, and discipline, the opportunity to partner with a faculty member on research or creative projects.
- Creative Activity
The University of Minnesota Morris offers the Morris Academic Partnership (MAP) program, in which faculty select academically talented, qualified second-year and third-year students to assist them in scholarly and creative projects. Selected MAP students undertake assignments intended to enhance their intellectual competence and increase their interest in graduate or professional study.
- Creative Activity
- Morris Academic Partnership (MAP)
- Student Employment
CURA was established by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in 1968 in response to the social and political upheaval of that time. Many universities established centers like CURA, but most of these have shifted their focus. CURA, in contrast, remains a thriving center for community-engaged research, always evolving with community needs.
- Community Engagement