Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Situate Medieval and Early Modern studies more broadly within several interdisciplinary fields, including history, art, philosophy, music, literature, and religion.
  2. Define and apply appropriate disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary methodologies, vocabularies, concepts, and theories to critically respond to questions within the field of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to define and respond to research questions and scholarly debates within the field, including the ability to analyze primary and secondary sources, draw conclusions from the analysis of these sources, and cite evidence in support of conclusions.
  4. Demonstrate a firm grasp of written, visual, and oral communication, including critical writing principles such as appropriate citation, use of evidence, clarity, and grammatical correctness.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies must complete:

  • A minimum of 10 courses (30 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 5 courses (15 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.
  • A maximum of 4 courses (12 credit hours) from study abroad or transfer credit. For additional program guidelines regarding transfer credit, see the Policies tab.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies30
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies 120

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Select 10 courses from the following categories (see course lists below): 1, 230
Anthropology
Art History
Asian Studies
Classical Studies
English
French Studies
German Studies
History
Jewish Studies
Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Music
Philosophy
Religion
Spanish
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies30
Additional Credit Hours to Complete Degree Requirements *59
University Graduation Requirements *31
Total Credit Hours 120

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Course Lists to Satisfy Requirements

Anthropology
THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF AFRICA
KINGS, QUEENS, AND COMMONERS: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF ANCIENT MESOAMERICA
THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF SLAVERY AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
Art History
INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF WESTERN ART I: ANTIQUITY TO GOTHIC
A GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE HISTORY I
INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF WESTERN EUROPE
ARCHITECTURE, TRADE, AND POWER IN EARLY MODERN ISLAMIC EMPIRES
BUDDHIST AND DAOIST ART AND RITUAL
PERSIANATE ARTS OF THE BOOK
COFFEEHOUSES AND TEAHOUSES: A GLOBAL HISTORY
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ART OF THE COURTS
LOOKING AT EUROPEAN PRINTS 1400-1700
AMERICAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE I: 1620-1800
NORTHERN RENAISSANCE ART
EARLY RENAISSANCE ART IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE AND MANNERISM IN ITALY
MASTERS OF THE BAROQUE ERA
CAPITALISM AND CULTURE
SEX AND MONEY: THE SPECIES DIVIDE
HOW TO READ CHINESE PAINTING
CHINESE ART AND THE WORLD
MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS
DUTCH ART IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT
ARCHITECTURE AND LITERATURE IN ISLAMIC CULTURES
VISUAL CULATURE OF MEDIEVAL PILGRIMAGE
SEEING SEX IN EUROPEAN ART, 1400-1700
MULTICULTURAL EUROPE, 1400-1700
Asian Studies
TRANSNATIONAL ART AND CULTURE IN ASIA BEFORE THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
ART & WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE SITES IN CHINA, JAPAN AND KOREA
A HISTORY OF THE SILK ROADS
PREMODERN CHINA: HISTORY OF AN OPEN EMPIRE TO 1800
INTRODUCTION TO TRADITIONAL CHINESE POETRY
TRADITIONAL CHINESE TALES AND SHORT STORIES
INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL CHINESE NOVELS
GENDER AND SOCIETY IN BUDDHISM
EAST ASIAN ORTHODOXIES AND HERESIES: LAW AND SOCIETY IN TRADITIONAL CHINA, KOREA, AND VIETNAM
CHINESE ART AND THE WORLD
WOMEN IN CHINESE LITERATURE
Classical Studies
ELEMENTARY LATIN I
ELEMENTARY LATIN II
INTERMEDIATE LATIN I: PROSE
INTERMEDIATE LATIN II
English
BEGINNINGS: BRITISH LITERATURE TO 1800
TOPICS IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE AND/OR CULTURE
MEDIEVAL ROMANCE
CHAUCER
ARTHURIAN LITERATURE
SHAKESPEARE ON FILM
SHAKESPEARE
TOPICS IN SHAKESPEARE
RENAISSANCE DRAMA
JOHN MILTON: RADICAL THOUGHT THEN AND NOW
LITERATURE OF THE BRITISH ENLIGHTENMENT
18TH CENTURY BRITISH FICTION
French Studies
MAJOR LITERARY WORKS AND ARTIFACTS OF PRE-REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE
BEGINNINGS OF THE LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE OF FRANCE
SAINTS AND SINNERS
LITERATURE AND CULTURE OF THE MIDDLE AGES: KING ARTHUR
History
MODERN EUROPE, 1500-1789
EARLY AMERICA
MEDIEVAL CIVILIZATIONS
MEXICO: AN INTRODUCTION
THE IDEA OF AFRICA
MEDIEVAL MEDITERRANEAN WORLD
MEDIEVAL VIOLENCE
THE MIDDLE EAST FROM THE AGE OF MUHAMMAD TO THE ARAB SPRING
GENGHIS KHAN AND THE EMPIRE OF THE MONGOLS
HISTORY OF EARLY AFRICA
LATIN AMERICAN CULTURAL TRADITIONS
NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY: FROM EUROPEAN CONTACT TO THE ERA OF REMOVAL
SLAVERY AND THE FOUNDING FATHERS
HISTORY OF SOUTH ASIA
GOLDEN AGE OF ISLAM
FIGHTING THE ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE
THE WORLD OF LATE ANTIQUITY
SEX, GENDER, AND FAMILY IN EUROPE, 1300-1700
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN THE MEDIEVAL ISLAMIC WORLD
IMPERIAL GARDENS: A CULTURAL COMPARISON
HISTORY OF ATLANTIC AFRICA
CONFLICT AND COEXISTENCE IN MEDIEVAL SPAIN
MEDIEVAL BORDERLANDS
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE
HISTORY OF PREMODERN BRITAIN: TUDORS AND STUARTS, 1485 - 1707
WORLD ECONOMIC HISTORY
JEWISH HISTORY, 1500-1948
PRE-MODERN POLITICAL THOUGHT FROM CICERO TO LOCKE
THE AGE OF ATTILA THE HUN
MUSLIMS, JEWS, CHRISTIANS, HERETICS, AND PAGANS IN THE AGE OF THE CRUSADES
EMPIRE AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
A HISTORY OF TRAVEL: FROM MEDIEVAL PILGRIMAGE TO THE HIPPIE TRAIL
MUSLIMS, AMERICA, AND ISLAMOPHOBIA
RULING HINDUSTAN: THE TIMURID-MUGHAL KINGS OF INDIA
Jewish Studies
GREAT BOOKS OF JEWISH HISTORY AND CULTURE
Medieval and Early Modern Studies
DIRECTED READING IN MEDIEVAL STUDIES
SPECIAL TOPICS
SENIOR THESIS
SENIOR THESIS
Music
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE ERAS
COLLEGIUM MUSICUM
Philosophy
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY I
HISTORY OF CHINESE PHILOSOPHY
HISTORY OF ETHICS
HISTORY OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Religion
INTRODUCTION TO JEWISH MYSTICISM
INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM
COMPARING CHRISTIANITIES
THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD
QUR'AN AND COMMENTARY
MEDIEVAL POPULAR CHRISTIANITY
DEMONS, MENTAL ILLNESS AND MEDICINE
JEWISH PHILOSOPHY: GREAT THINKERS AND THEMES IN JEWISH THOUGHT
REPRESENTING THE DEVIL IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY AND ART
PILGRIMAGE AND CRUSADE
CHRISTIANITY AND LATE ANTIQUITY
NEW TESTAMENT / CHRISTIAN ORIGINS
CLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY ARABIC TEXTS
VISIONS AND VISONARY PRACTICES: MEDIEVAL TO MODERN
SECOND CENTURY CHRISTIANITIES
Spanish
INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN SPANISH LITERATURE AND CULTURE
DON QUIJOTE

Recommended Coursework

It is recommended, but not required, that students take 2 semesters at the college level in an appropriate language (or languages). For students considering MDEM graduate work, it is recommended that they study at least 1 foreign language in some depth. 

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

Students pursuing the major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies should be aware of the following program restriction:

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Program Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies should be aware of the following program-specific transfer credit guidelines:

  • No more than 4 courses (12 credit hours) of transfer credit from U.S. or international universities of similar standing as Rice may apply towards the major.
  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Distribution Credit Information

The determination of distribution credit eligibility is done initially as part of the new course creation process. Additionally, as part of an annual roll call coordinated each Spring by the Office of the Registrar, course distribution credit eligibility is routinely reviewed and reaffirmed by the Dean’s Offices of each of the academic schools.  

Faculty and leadership in the academic schools are responsible for ensuring that the courses identified as distribution-credit-eligible meet the criteria as set in the General Announcements. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet graduation requirements by completing coursework designated as distribution-credit-eligible at the time of course registration. 

Distribution courses from Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MDEM) are broad in theme and scope and prompt students to probe knowledge about the variety of often interrelated medieval and early modern civilizations from the 4th to the 18th centuries. They involve a broad, interdisciplinary spectrum of knowledge that provides students with the tools for thinking critically about formations of ideas in the long history of culture and cultural exchange among Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Many of them are introductions to the medieval and/or early modern periods in a particular field of study (e.g. History, Art History, Religion, Music).

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Medieval and Early Modern Studies website: https://medieval.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Senior Thesis 

Qualified majors may apply before their senior year for directed research leading to a senior thesis, carried out during both semesters of the senior year. Each semester will require 3 credit hours; these 6 credit hours (MDEM 494 and MDEM 495) are in addition to the credit hours required for the major.

To qualify for senior thesis, students must have an approved research proposal and the agreement of a faculty member to serve as advisor for that project. Applicants will normally be required to have a GPA of 3.75 in MDEM courses and to have completed courses relevant to the proposed thesis topic (e.g. English, History, Art History, etc.), to be determined by the thesis advisor. Applications should be submitted to the director of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and will be evaluated by the advisory board. 

Students who are considering applying to write a senior thesis should consult the program director and potential advisor as early as possible. Normally students will apply before preregistration in the second semester of their junior year and will spend time during the following summer reading from a list they have developed with their advisor. The thesis normally will be between 7,500 and 15,000 words (approximately 30-60 pages) in length. Students will enroll MDEM 494 and MDEM 495.

Application Requirements

  • Program thesis application form (available at program website and from the program director) signed by the program director and the faculty member who will supervise the project
  • A 500 word abstract of the proposed project

Final Submission and Presentations

  • An electronic copy of the final thesis must be submitted by the last day of final examinations for degree candidates. Presentations will take place at the MDEM Undergraduate Conference. 

Additional Information  

For additional information, please see the Medieval and Early Modern Studies website: https://medieval.rice.edu/

See https://humanities.rice.edu/student-life for tables of fellowships, prizes, and internships/practica that may be relevant to this major.