The Certificate in Medieval Studies program enables students to combine study in three or more disciplines into an organized investigation of the Middle Ages, a rich historical period that continues to influence today's culture.

Painting of four medieval women hunting, one woman shooting at a deer with a bow and arrow, another using a rod to drive game toward the huntress, and two women with three hunting dogs.

Students may earn the Certificate in Medieval Studies as a distinct interest or combine it with focused study in areas such as art history; classics; gender, women's, and sexuality studies; languages (e.g., French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish); music; philosophy; religion; and theater.

The undergraduate Certificate in Medieval Studies requires at least 18 s.h. in medieval studies coursework. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in work for the certificate.

The certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program. Undergraduate to Graduate (U2G) students may earn the certificate when the undergraduate classification is primary.

Courses used to fulfill GE CLAS Core requirements or the requirements of a major or minor may be counted toward the certificate in most cases. Up to 6 s.h. of transfer credit may be counted toward certificate requirements with the Certificate in Medieval Studies coordinating committee's approval; contact the certificate program's coordinator.

The Certificate in Medieval Studies requires the following coursework.

Core Course3
Additional Courses15
Total Hours18

Core Course

Students must complete a core course early in their program of study.

One of these:
MDVL:3409Medieval Civilization I3
MDVL:3410Medieval Civilization II3

Additional Courses

Remaining courses may be chosen from the "Associated Courses" below or from medieval studies courses (prefix MDVL) under Courses in this section of the Catalog. Students must include courses from at least three different departments; they may count a maximum of 10 s.h. from a single department or program. Students should consult regularly with a medieval studies advisor while planning and completing their program of study.

Associated Courses

The following courses are approved for the medieval studies certificate. Other courses may be approved for satisfaction of certificate requirements; students who wish to have a course approved should make a request to the Certificate in Medieval Studies coordinating committee. The coordinating committee revises the list of approved courses as necessary.

Arabic Language and Literature

ARAB:2001Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I5
ARAB:2002Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic II5

Art and Art History

ARTH:2420Medieval Art from Constantine to Columbus3
ARTH:3310Celtic and Viking Art3
ARTH:3390Early Medieval Art3
ARTH:3400Romanesque and Gothic Art3
ARTH:3420Gothic Architecture3
ARTH:3990Topics in Art History (when topic is medieval)3

Center for the Book

UICB:4910/HIST:4910/SLIS:4910The Book in the Middle Ages3
UICB:4920/HIST:4920/SLIS:4920The Transition from Manuscript to Print3


CLSA:2127/ASIA:2127/JPNS:2127Global Manuscript Cultures3
CLSL:2001World of Cicero3
CLSL:2002Golden Age of Roman Poetry3


ENGL:2216Selected Works of the Middle Ages3
ENGL:2236Selected Early Authors (when topic is medieval)3
ENGL:3216Topics in Medieval and Renaissance Literature3
ENGL:3226/MDVL:3226Literature and Culture of the Middle Ages3
ENGL:3256Old English Language and Literature3
ENGL:3257Old English Beowulf3
ENGL:3266Medieval Celtic Literature3
ENGL:3267Medieval Norse Literature3
ENGL:3276/THTR:3276Medieval Drama3
ENGL:4009Honors Seminar: Medieval and Early Modern Literature, Early Literature/17th Century3


GRMN:2770Norse Mythology: Gods, Heroes, and Monsters of Northern Europe3-4


HIST:2151Introduction to the History Major (when topic is medieval)3
HIST:2483History of Britain: Fall of Rome to the Norman Conquest3
HIST:3409/MDVL:3409Medieval Civilization I3
HIST:3410/MDVL:3410Medieval Civilization II3
HIST:3423/MDVL:3423Ireland in the Early Middle Ages3
HIST:4412/MDVL:4412History of the Medieval Church3
HIST:4419/MDVL:4419Ancient and Medieval Science3


ITAL:4633Dante's Inferno3
ITAL:4634The Italian Renaissance3


JPNS:3202Traditional Japanese Literature in Translation3
JPNS:3206Warriors' Dreams3
JPNS:4201The Tale of Genji3


MUS:2301History of Western Music I3
MUS:4200Counterpoint Before 16003


PHIL:3112/HIST:3412Medieval Philosophy3

Religious Studies

RELS:1225/HIST:1025Medieval Religion and Culture3
RELS:3243/CLSA:3443Pagans and Christians: The Church from Jesus to Muhammad3
RELS:4001/CLSA:4901Biblical Hebrew I3-4
RELS:4002/CLSA:4902Biblical Hebrew II4


RUSS:1532Traces of Ancient Russian Culture (IX-XVII Centuries): Vikings, Mongols, and Tsars3

Spanish and Portuguese

SPAN:4690Topics in Spanish Literature (when topic is medieval)3

Language Courses

The Medieval Studies Program strongly encourages students to complete coursework in a language relevant to the medieval period. Latin is recommended for anyone intending to pursue graduate study in the field. Many language courses have prerequisites, and some are offered irregularly, so students should complete their language coursework as early as possible. The following language courses are approved for the medieval studies certificate.

ARAB:2001-ARAB:2002Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I-II10
CLSL:2001-CLSL:2002World of Cicero - Golden Age of Roman Poetry6
CLSA:4901-CLSA:4902Biblical Hebrew I-II (same as RELS:4001-RELS:4002)8
ENGL:3256Old English Language and Literature3

Sample Plans of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Medieval Studies, Certificate

General Interest

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
The undergraduate Certificate in Medieval Studies requires at least 18 s.h. in medieval studies coursework.
This sample plan is a suggestion for students planning graduate work in medieval studies.
MDVL:3226 Literature and Culture of the Middle Ages a 3
MDVL:3410 Medieval Civilization II a 3
ARTH:2420 Medieval Art from Constantine to Columbus a 3
CLSL:2001 World of Cicero a 3
CLSL:2002 Golden Age of Roman Poetry a 3
ENGL:3286 Chaucer a 3
 Total Hours18
Students may substitute this course for another approved medieval studies course (refer to the General Catalog for a list of approved courses). Students must include courses from at least three different departments in their work for the certificate; they may count a maximum of 10 s.h. from a single department or program.