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 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 5 courses (15 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.

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: 130
Anthropology
AFRICAN PREHISTORY
Art History
INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF WESTERN ART I: PREHISTORIC TO GOTHIC
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
GOTHIC ART
ART OF THE COURTS
NORTHERN RENAISSANCE ART
MASTERS OF THE BAROQUE ERA
CHINESE ART AND VISUAL CULTURE
EAST & WEST: MEDIEVAL VISUAL CULTURE IN CHINA AND NORTHERN EUROPE
DUTCH ART IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT
ARCHITECTURE OF THE GOTHIC CATHEDRAL FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
SEEING SEX IN EUROPEAN ART, 1400-1700
MULTICULTURAL EUROPE, 1400-1700
Asian Studies
INTRODUCTION TO TRADITIONAL CHINESE POETRY
INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL CHINESE NOVELS
WOMEN IN CHINESE LITERATURE
Classical Studies
ELEMENTARY LATIN I
ELEMENTARY LATIN II
INTERMEDIATE LATIN I: PROSE
INTERMEDIATE LATIN II
English
OLD ENGLISH LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE
CHAUCER
ARTHURIAN LITERATURE
MEDIEVAL ROMANCE
French Studies
BEGINNINGS OF THE LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE OF FRANCE
COURTLY LOVE IN MEDIEVAL FRANCE
LITERATURE AND CULTURE OF THE MIDDLE AGES: KING ARTHUR
German Studies
MIDDLE HIGH GERMAN
History
GOLDEN AGE OF ISLAM
THE WORLD OF LATE ANTIQUITY
COEXISTENCE IN MEDIEVAL SPAIN
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE
Medieval and Early Modern Studies
MEDIEVAL CIVILIZATIONS
MEDIEVAL VIOLENCE
DIRECTED READING IN MEDIEVAL STUDIES
THE LITERARY AND HISTORICAL IMAGE OF THE MEDIEVAL WOMAN
Music
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE ERAS
TOPICS IN EARLY MUSIC
MUSIC OF THE MIDDLE AGES
COLLEGIUM MUSICUM
Philosophy
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY I
ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
Religion
INTRODUCTION TO JEWISH MYSTICISM
INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN THOUGHT
MEDIEVAL POPULAR CHRISTIANITY
THE REFORMATION & ITS RESULTS
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Medieval and Early Modern Studies30
Additional Credit Hours to Complete BA Degree Requirements30
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours 120

Footnotes and Additional Information 

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 (as most graduate schools require a reading knowledge of French and German for the PhD). 

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

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:

  • 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 eligibility is done as part of the new course creation process. As part of an annual roll call coordinated each Spring by the Office of the Registrar, course distribution eligibility is 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-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 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 16th 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

  • Department 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.