Best Accredited Universities for Doctoral Phd program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

12 universities offer graduate PHD program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Harvard University logo
Ranked as:  #3 in Best National University
Tuition:  $50,654 per year
Total Cost:  $101,308 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Massachusetts
Acceptance:  5.01%

Medieval Studies is a general term traditionally applied to the study of European and Mediterranean culture and history (and increasingly, to a broader geographic sphere also encompassing Central Asia, the Indian Ocean world, and Africa) during approximately the millennium between 300 and 1500. It also is the name of one of the best-established interdisciplinary fields in the modern university. There are medievalists teaching and conducting research at Harvard in the departments of African and African American Studies, Celtic Languages and Literatures, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, History, History of Art and Architecture, History of Science, Music, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Philosophy, Romance Languages and Literatures, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Study of Religion; in the Schools of Design, Divinity, and Law; at the Houghton and Widener libraries; and elsewhere. Several other major research universities treat the field as a discipline, and group students and faculties in medieval studies centers, institutes, or programs: for example, Yale, UCLA, Notre Dame, Arizona, and Fordham in the U.S., the University of Toronto in Canada, and York and Leeds in the U.K..

Medievalist graduate students seldom have the opportunity to apply for jobs in medieval centers. Any Ph.D. project dealing with the medieval world, however, requires knowledge of more than one discipline, and most such projects require specialist knowledge seldom taught in individual departments. The interdisciplinary nature of the field is widely recognized by hiring committees, while department promotion committees sometimes make publication in the field's premier journal, Speculum, published by the Medieval Academy, almost a condition of tenure.

The Committee on Medieval Studies offers a Ph.D. secondary field in Medieval Studies. In addition, the Committee administers a Special Program in Byzantine Studies, which allows students to earn a Ph.D. in Byzantine Studies or Byzantine History, Literature, and Art. More information on this program can be found here.

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PhD Secondary Field in Medieval Studies

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  864
  • Teaching assistantships:  1388
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Yale University logo
Ranked as:  #3 in Best National University
Tuition:  $44,500 per year
Total Cost:  $89,000 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Connecticut
Acceptance:  6.53%

Renaissance Studies offers a combined Ph.D. degree that integrates concentration in a departmental field with interdisciplinary study of the broader range of culture in the Renaissance and early modern periods. The program is designed to train Renaissance specialists who are firmly based in a traditional discipline but who can also work across disciplinary boundaries. Departmental areas of concentration available are Classics, Comparative Literature, English, French, History, History of Art, History of Music, Italian, and Spanish and Portuguese.

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Renaissance Studies PHD Program

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  1565
  • Teaching assistantships:  1598
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Cornell University logo
Ranked as:  #17 in Best National University
Tuition:  $30,042 per year
Total Cost:  $60,084 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  10.71%

Cornell’s Medieval Studies Program is designed to provide students with expertise and professional success in the fields of particular departments, the members of whom will likely form the majority of the students’ Special Committees. But Medieval Studies also presents graduate students with combinations of scholars in clusters of study that might not be as visible in traditionally defined departmental graduate training.

Resources for studying Latin and most medieval vernacular languages (including Germanic, Romance, Celtic, Slavonic, Semitic, and East Asian languages) are a mainstay of the Program. The Program in Medieval Studies encompasses all of these offerings within a flexible curriculum tailored to the needs of individual students.

Medieval Studies students also enjoy the benefits of carefully mentored training in pedagogical techniques and classroom skills, including a summer teaching internship that prepares students to teach in the award-winning Writing in the Disciplines Program. Advanced Latin students may also teach Latin Review for Graduate Students, which is offered annually for entering students in Medieval Studies, Classics, History and other Departments.

Students from many other doctoral programs at Cornell are closely involved in the Program in Medieval Studies, and they contribute to a lively and varied community of medievalists that spans Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences. Traditional coursework and seminars are supplemented by formal and informal reading groups, ad hoc seminars, the annual Medieval Studies Student Colloquium, and outside lectures invited by our student organization, Quodlibet.

Applications for admission and aid should be made through the Graduate School’s website. Completed applications should be filed by January 15.

Candidates should take the GRE aptitude tests (verbal, quantitative, and analytical, plus the subject test if available in their main subject) and have their scores sent to Cornell (code 2098 use the subject code of 2999, Humanities Arts–Other ). Applicants should also provide three letters of recommendation (one than required by the Graduate School), all college and graduate school transcripts, and a writing sample of 20 pages on a topic that best reveals the applicant’s scholarly abilities, critical acumen, and suitability for advanced medieval scholarship. The university requires foreign students who are not native speakers of English to pass the TOEFL examination with a score of at least 250 (old version) or 105 (new scoring), with the following minimum scores: 20 (Writing), 15 (Listening), 20 (Reading), and 22 (Speaking). The TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) is available for most test-takers and is the preferred version. For applicants in regions where the TOEFL iBT is not available, Cornell will continue to accept scores for the paper-based test (PBT). Exam results are reported to the Graduate School. Recommendation letters can be submitted or in hard copy. Transcripts, writing sample, and any recommendation letters not submitted should be sent directly to the Medieval Studies Program at the address listed below.

Offers of admission (with financial aid) are usually made by April 1. The Field of Medieval Studies admits only students pursuing the Ph.D. Please address all inquiries to the Director:.

The Medieval Studies Program at Cornell offers a comparative and or interdisciplinary doctorate. Each student chooses one major and two minor fields of study. At least one of the minor fields must be in either a different language or a different discipline from the major field.

A literary comparatist’s program, for example, might look like this: Major field: Old English Literature Minor fields: Middle High German Literature and Middle English Literature. An interdisciplinary program might take this form: Major Field: Medieval History Minor Fields: Medieval English History and Medieval Philosophy. Programs that are both comparative and interdisciplinary are also possible, e.g. Major field: Middle English Literature Minor fields: Medieval Latin Literature and Medieval Philosophy.

When you Ph.D. program, we need to know that you possess a good preliminary training in your proposed major field of study. A sound basis in the main languages in which you are likely to work is obviously essential. We are also likely to be impressed by any good indications that you have thought the comparative and interdisciplinary nature of our degree, and are aware that work towards a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies is not quite the same as a Ph.D. in, say, Philosophy or History or Germanic Philology. We will have different expectations your course of study and the directions in which we will expect you to branch out. To illustrate this, consider the difference between Medieval Studies with an English emphasis and a specialist English degree. Our program emphasizes the contributions to understanding of context and sensibility that history and archaeology or contemporary literary theory can offer, and will certainly encourage you to read in other medieval literatures, Latin and French especially, but quite possibly Icelandic sagas and Dante too, depending on your needs and interests. In contrast, a specialist English Ph.D. may give you a somewhat greater freedom to pursue English literature or less strictly defined over a longer period of time.

Students in the Medieval Studies Program normally take courses for three years before their A-Exams, though it has sometimes proved possible for exceptionally prepared students to attempt the A-Exam as early as the end of the second year. During this time most students prepare for exams in one major and two minor fields. (Further minors are possible, but naturally entail extra exams.) Literary and linguistic students have to work in several medieval languages. Western historians and philosophers, while they may have less need for medieval vernacular languages, do need to be able to read Latin with some ease. All students need to be able to read at least two and usually three (or ) modern research languages. No medievalist can have too much knowledge of any research language. We require all Western medievalists to have passed the Toronto Medieval Latin Exam at the M.A. level by the end of their third year. All our students must be aware of the need to be able to read the original manuscripts in their field. A Paleography course is therefore the other general requirement prior to the A-Exam. Time is short preparation important. The better your preparation, the time you can devote to branching out to new material and to acquiring deeper knowledge in your major field.

These are guidelines, desiderata, rather than inflexible rules. But they are significant, e.g. it is not realistic to to study western medieval history in our program, if you have studied no Latin, and have only one modern research language, or to to do work in Old and Middle English, if you have never read any Middle English or taken any medieval coursework in college.

Last, but not least: we would like to see a writing-sample on a medieval topic, if at all possible, either one 20-page paper, or chapter, or two shorter papers. Choose samples that display you at your best even better if these demonstrate your control of relevant skills, such as close reading of texts or the deployment of evidence.

The advisor-student relationship will be one of the most important for your career. You can change advisors midstream in Graduate School, but doing so after the second year can be difficult, time consuming, and emotionally costly.

To enable students to accept our offer of admission, the Graduate School and the field of Medieval Studies strive to guarantee five years of full support. At least four semesters of this support come in the form of annual fellowships: one in the first-year and a final one when students are completing the dissertation in their fifth year. While on fellowship, students receive an award of full tuition, given in recognition of their excellent preparation and promise as graduate students. In addition, the field guarantees at least four years of summer support at the going rate.

Support in other years comes from teaching assistantships, which entail working not than twenty hours a week and provide both a tuition fellowship and a stipend at whatever the current rate may be. The Cornell student health insurance plan provides annual coverage which remains in place even if students should cease to be enrolled as graduates. Individuals who leave the university or are not funded by the university during the spring semester must pay the health insurance premium for that period. The student activity fee (currently $76 per year) is not covered.

All guarantees of support are, of course, contingent upon satisfactory academic performance (as determined by the field of Medieval Studies) and satisfactory performance as a teacher. We also expect our students to as appropriate, for funding from external sources (our students have been quite successful in these endeavors). The Javits Fellowship, for example, is available to first-year graduate students, and provides up to four years of funding.

information our program can also be found in the Procedural Guide for the Field of Medieval Studies.

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Medieval Studies Doctoral Program

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  1320
  • Teaching assistantships:  1455
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68 universities offer the Master's program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

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University of Notre Dame logo
Ranked as:  #18 in Best National University
Tuition:  $57,522 per year
Total Cost:  $115,044 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Indiana
Acceptance:  18.99%

The Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame is one of the leading centers in the United States for the advanced study of medieval culture. The graduate program provides students with superb technical training, but it also equips them with a holistic vision of the Middle Ages, grounded in a mastery of sources and languages and extending to the whole of its life and culture. The Medieval Institute welcomes applications from students of high academic ability who wish to pursue a career teaching and researching the Middle Ages. Generous fellowship support and light service demands allow students to devote themselves fully to their course of study.

Students in the Medieval Institute pursue the Ph.D. in Medieval Studies, a rigorous, interdisciplinary degree with a focus on one of the classic disciplines: history, Latin or vernacular literature (English, Italian, German, Spanish, French), theology, philosophy, music, or art history. They receive training from leading experts in their field while researching and writing in one of the best libraries in the world for medieval studies. Graduates of the Medieval Institute are extremely competitive on the job market, and currently hold positions in the United States as well as internationally.

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Medieval Studies: PhD

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University of California-Berkeley logo
Ranked as:  #20 in Best National University
Tuition:  $29,347 per year
Total Cost:  $58,694 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  California
Acceptance:  17.48%

The Designated Emphasis on Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (DE) draws on UC Berkeley’s exceptional faculty strength in arts, humanities, and social sciences to foster interdisciplinary research on the Renaissance and early modern period, and to provide an intellectual community for those working in these areas. It offers comprehensive training in a wide range of departments and disciplines. Students combine seminar work in intellectual and cultural history, material culture, and languages to supplement their traditional doctoral studies.

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Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Graduate Program

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University of Wisconsin-Madison logo
Ranked as:  #38 in Best National University
Tuition:  $25,523 per year
Total Cost:  $51,046 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Wisconsin
Acceptance:  57.25%

The Minor in Medieval Studies is of interest and use to graduate students seeking to study the Middle Ages in a way that would complement and deepen their study of history, language, literature, art, etc. The program will allow these students to gather the broadly interdisciplinary coursework outside the student’s home department or program into a meaningful credential that appears on their transcript.

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Doctoral Minor in Medieval Studies - Graduate Studies

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University of Miami logo
Ranked as:  #55 in Best National University
Tuition:  $40,220 per year
Total Cost:  $80,440 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Florida
Acceptance:  33.09%

The Medieval and Early Modern Graduate Studies Concentration is an interdisciplinary concentration to be earned in conjunction with the individual Ph.D. requirements for the departments of English, History, and Modern Languages and Literatures (Romance Studies, Spanish and French). Graduate students will continue to be housed in any one of the three departments and must fulfill the requirements of their discipline. To qualify for the Concentration, students must successfully complete a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and/or early modern studies in one or both of the other two departments, substituting for courses within their department; and a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and/or early modern studies within their home department. Thus, for example, a student whose home department is English would need to take two courses in medieval and/or early modern studies in English and then either two courses in History or MLL or once course in History and one course in MLL.

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Medieval and Early Modern Studies Concentration, Ph.D.

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logo
Ranked as:  #67 in Best National University
Tuition:  $41,576 per year
Total Cost:  $83,152 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Connecticut
Acceptance:  56.09%

Medieval Studies at the University of Connecticut was established in 1967, and has since then been dedicated to providing education to students of the Middle Ages. The Medieval Studies Program is the only one of its kind at a public institution in the northeast which grants both a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Medieval Studies.

From its beginnings, Medieval Studies has thrived on an interdisciplinary approach, with cooperation from faculty in the Departments of Art and Art History, English, History, Literatures, Cultures & Languages, and Music. Students take courses in a variety of these cooperating departments and pursue both major and minor thematic specializations in fields specific to their scholarship. The Program also hosts a Medieval Colloquia series of lectures throughout the year, as well as an annual visiting professor from an outside institution.

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Medieval Studies Graduate Program

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Fordham University logo
Ranked as:  #72 in Best National University
Tuition:  $23,846 per year
Total Cost:  $47,692 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  52.53%

The Center for Medieval Studies regularly sponsors graduate student workshops that cover a variety of topics of interest to graduate students seeking career and professional advice. Past workshops have treated such themes as put together an academic curriculum vitae write an abstract for a scholarly conference and a series on compatible careers, which invited past graduates to discuss non-university professions open to those with M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the Humanities.

In and Beyond the Digital: Career Pathways for Humanists (May 13, 2020).

Medieval Freelancing 101: Para-academic Work (Sep.

Medieval Freelancing 101: Working Beyond Academia (Sep.

A report on current job opportunities for graduate-degree holders.

The number one source for resources support for those seeking ways to find a job using their humanities degree.

Versatile PhD hosts panel discussions featuring members who are currently working in various industries.

The Idealist, along with the goal of being an online community of people and organizations trying to make the world a better place, has a great jobs section with opportunities worldwide).

Read in this article examples of Fordham students in the humanities who have found employment in the technology industry as a result of their degree.

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Medieval Studies Careers

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Indiana University-Bloomington logo
Ranked as:  #72 in Best National University
Tuition:  $33,338 per year
Total Cost:  $66,676 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Indiana
Acceptance:  80.38%

The mission of the program is to foster dialogue and collaboration across disciplines, languages and traditions. Renaissance Studies organizes a vast range of events, including conferences, lecture series, symposia and roundtables. A Ph.D. minor or an area certificate in Renaissance Studies provides the multi-disciplinary education necessary to equip students for research on Renaissance and early modern topics, drawing on a wide selection of courses with a Renaissance early modern focus.

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Renaissance Studies

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What kind of scholarships are available for Graduate Programs in Medieval and Renaissance Studies?

We have 11 scholarships awarding up to $69,804 for Masters program in for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, targeting diverse candidates and not restricted to state or school-based programs.

Scholarship nameAmountCredibility
Women in Science Graduate Fellowship $32,000Medium
SAA Native American Graduate Archaeology Scholarship$11,000Medium
ACHP-Smithsonian Cultural Heritage Fellowship$7,000Medium
Changemaker Scholarship for Masters Programs$5,775High
Hevey Ten-Week Graduate Student Fellowship: MINERAL SCIENCES$4,000Medium

Find scholarships and financial aid for Medieval and Renaissance Studies graduate programs

$500 $20000

How can I compare the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Graduate Programs?

Compare the GRE score requirements, admission details, credit requirements and tuition for the Master's Program, from 68 universities offering Graduate PHD/Doctoral Programs in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Compare Graduate PHD/Doctoral Programs in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

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