What is Medieval and Renaissance Studies?
Medieval and Renaissance Studies is a field of study focused on a period of time in European history from the 14th century to the 17th century. The Medieval and Renaissance period is cited by historians and scholars as one of the most significant period in Western history.
The Renaissance period is situated between the final stages of antiquity and the nascent years of modernity. It is a period of time creating many habits and institutions shaping our current worldview.
Literary examples coming from the Renaissance period include classic writings of Chaucer, Milton, Saint Francis, Saint Augustine, and Malory. Meanwhile, historical events like the impact of the Black Death to creations of Renaissance and Reformation Europe shape this period of time. In short, Medieval and Renaissance times are chalk full of historical significance.
Top Medieval & Renaissance Degrees
Renaissance and Medieval degree programs offered by accredited higher education institutions can include a number of different learning modalities. As an example, a school may provide students with the ability to enroll in a distance learning program, a traditional on-site classroom program, and a hybrid learning platform.
A hybrid learning modality blends an online learning program with an on-site program by requiring students to meet for lectures at established intervals during a semester or quarter. Given the preponderance of evidence in the last decade, the popularity of online learning will continue to permeate the higher education landscape to meet the growing demand from students and employers.
Renaissance Degree Types
In addition to selecting the appropriate learning modality, you will have the ability to select a degree program that best suits your goals and aspirations. Colleges may provide multiple degree levels to meet your academic objectives. Degrees may include undergraduate degree options like an Associate’s of Arts (AA) or Bachelors of Arts (BA).
Likewise, you may pursue a graduate-level degree that can be conferred as a Master of Arts (MA) or PhD. It is important to know that the doctorate degree in Medieval & Renaissance Studies is most often conferred as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) which requires students to meet all lower-level requirements plus the successful completion of a board-approved dissertation.
Renaissance Degree Requirements
Given the span of degree pathways, you can expect students to take varying levels of classes given the degree level selected. For example, a student enrolled in Medieval & Renaissance program at the AA or BA degree level will need to complete general studies such as English composition, economics, philosophy, sociology, creative writing, communications, and psychology plus core classes. Meanwhile, a graduate student will have fewer, more intensive classes that will culminate with a thesis and dissertation, for a master’s degree and PhD degree respectively.
Courses in a Renaissance Degree
Classes you may find in a Medieval & Renaissance degree program will vary slightly from school to school. However, you can expect to take similar core classes from college to college. Below you will find a common set of core classes to help you understand classes in a typical program.
- Medieval & Renaissance Literature & Language
- Social & Cultural Changes in Medieval Times
- Introduction to Renaissance Studies
- Medieval & Renaissance Culture & History
- Renaissance Music and Art
- Renaissance and Medieval Art
- Globalization Studies
- Renaissance Poetry
- Economic Analysis & Social Impact in Medieval Times
- Historical Impact of the Renaissance
Employment Outlook & History Specializations
Undergraduate and graduate students earning a Renaissance studies degree will have various careers to consider. Pathways after college can include teaching, research, curriculum design, artists, historian, author, public speaker, blogger, or training specialist.
Jobs associated with history degrees are forecast to be on par with the national average of 6% for the foreseeable future. As an example, careers in teaching are expected to jump 13% for college professors and 7% for high school teachers in the coming decade. The largest employers of historians are the federal government and state government followed by private industry and research firms.
Additional Resources in Renaissance and Medieval Studies
Students seeking additional information during their time of matriculation in Medieval and Renaissance studies can connect with national and regional organizations in the field of study. These organizations include the following:
- The Renaissance Society of America
- American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain
- Southeastern Medieval Association
- North American Catalan Society
- Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies
- Medieval Academy of America
- South-central Renaissance Conference
- Milton Society of America
- The Shakespeare Association of America
- Society for Renaissance Art History
- Texas Medieval Association