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Medieval Studies (certificate)

At a Glance: program details

Studying the global Middle Ages will open new perspectives on the global present, provide you with a foundation for future study in the humanities, and encourage you to integrate the disciplines of literature, history and the arts in your studies.

Program Description

Certificate Awarded: Medieval Studies (certificate)

The graduate certificate in medieval studies is a transdisciplinary program that provides intensive engagement for graduate students with the global period between circa 500 and 1500 CE; investigation of cultural activities and cultural interactions seen in this period in art history, history, languages, literature, music and religion; and studies in the variety of theoretical approaches to understanding these activities and interactions in the Middle Ages. This program builds on the strengths of ASU by taking advantage of the breadth of interdisciplinary offerings in the study of the Middle Ages here.

These areas of emphasis enable students to gain expertise in practical and theoretical knowledge of the field of medieval studies and to engage in developing new models for the continued study of this time period. Students also hone an understanding of intercultural intersections and transdisciplinary approaches to medieval studies, as well as receive advanced training and mentorship in disciplines relevant to medieval studies.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 15 credit hours

Required Core (3 credit hours)
One of the following courses:
ARS 514 Monasteries, Madonnas and Manuscripts (3)
ENG 530 Old English (3)
ENG 531 Old English Literature (3)
ENG 532 Middle English Dialects (3)
ENG 632 Advanced Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture (3)
FRE 521 History of the French Language (3)

Electives (12 credit hours)

Additional Curriculum Information
No more than three credit hours may be transferred from another university. No more than six credit hours may be completed prior to admission to the certificate program. At least 10 credit hours must be at the 500-level or above.

Courses must be drawn from at least two different academic units.

To be approved as an elective, a course must spend at least 50% of the class meetings on the subject of the Middle Ages. Students should contact the department for a list of approved electives.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. writing sample
  4. statement of purpose
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) and has not graduated from an institution of higher learning in the United States must provide proof of English proficiency. Applications will not be processed without valid proof of English proficiency. More information about English proficiency requirements can be found on the Department of English website. Official scores must be sent to ASU in order for the application to be processed.

International students who need an F1 or J1 visa first need to apply to and be accepted into a graduate degree program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the USA on other types of visas must adhere to all Graduate College policies and procedures regarding admission to be considered for admission to this certificate program.

The statement of purpose should be no more than two pages, double-spaced. The statement should summarize the applicant's past educational experiences and current goals in pursuing a graduate certificate in medieval studies. The writing sample gives the committee a sense of the applicant's writing style and analytical abilities. An academic paper submitted for a graduate or undergraduate course is appropriate. A writing sample dealing with a topic in medieval studies is preferred but not required.


Choose 4 courses from the list below for a total of 12 credit hours.

  • ARS 591/498 – Seminar on Med/Ren Art
  • ENG 598 (494 sometimes) – Viking Language 1
  • ENG 598 (494 sometimes) – Viking Language 2
  • ENG 602 – Advanced Studies in Theory and/or Criticism: Written Oral Traditions (Medieval to Modern)
  • FRE 598/494 – Paris and Florence in the Middle Ages
  • HST 598 – Historiography of Slavery
  • MHL 598 – Medieval Music and Ritual
  • ARS 414 – Monasteries, Madonnas, and Manuscripts
  • CHI 451 – Chinese Cultural History
  • CHI 482 – History of the Chinese Language
  • CHI 494 – Print Culture and the Book in East Asia
  • ENG 413 – History of the English Language
  • ENG 415 – Medieval Literature (not Chaucer)
  • ENG 416 – Chaucer
  • ENG 444 – Interdisciplinary Study of Literature and Culture (on a medieval topic)
  • ENG 494 – Sin and Social Revolt
  • FRE 494 – Adventure and Exploration in Medieval French Literature
  • FRE 494 – History of the French Language
  • HST 495 – Slavery in the Premodern World (cross listed on 500-level)
  • JPN 414 – Classical Japanese Language
  • REL 405 – Religions on the Silk Road; 4th – 14th centuries
  • REL 460 – Islam and Politics
  • REL 470 – Religion in the Middle Ages
  • SLC 421 – Ghosts, Monsters, and the Supernatural in Japanese Literature and Film
  • SLC 457 – Premodern Korea in a Global Context

Note: A minimum of two-thirds of the courses taken to complete the certificate must be at the 500-level or above. Master’s students may apply two 400-level courses taken during the master’s program to their master’s degree plan of study. PhD students cannot apply 400-level courses to  a PhD plan of study. When in doubt, consult with the certificate administrators.

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

Studying abroad is possible for graduate students. There are more than 50 program opportunities, with programs on every continent.

Faculty-directed programs tend to be the best fit for graduate students; taking courses with ASU professors over the summer or during academic breaks offers students close mentorship and professional network growth in many fields of study while they earn ASU credit. Exchange program participation is also possible with careful planning. More information on available programs can be found on the Global Education Office website.

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Career Opportunities

The graduate certificate in medieval studies is designed to equip students for jobs in academia, but also in a variety of other fields in which a humanities degree and interdisciplinary work are valued. Career examples include:

  • digital humanities
  • library and archival work
  • museum work
  • professorship in the humanities and social sciences
  • public humanities
  • public service
  • publishing

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.