The  InterdepartmentalCommittee on Medieval and Renaissance Studies


               Medieval and early modern culture was expressed in a rich confluence of visual, musical, theological, and literary production. Regrettably, the contemporary academy subdivides and quarantines this vibrant commingling with artificial disciplinary and departmental barriers. The medieval and renaissance studiesprogram draws upon the considerable (but elsewhere scattered) resources ofColumbia University, offering the ambitious student an opportunity to considerthe middle ages and the renaissance as an integrated whole.


The Graduate Certificate in Medieval andRenaissance Studies

               TheCertificate in Medieval and Renaissance Studies is granted by the Graduate Schoolof Arts and Sciences on the recommendation of the Steering Committee of theInterdepartmental Committee on Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Candidates for the certificate declare their candidacy after admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and meet with the chair(s) of the Interdepartmental Committee, who will assign one of its members as an advisor. We recommend that candidates declare their interest as early as possible in their coursework, buta student can be considered for admission at any point in his or her graduate career. Candidatesshould discuss their programs of certificate study with their advisors eachterm.



    I) Either, for those whoenter the Graduate School with the B.A. or B.S., the completion of the requirementsfor the M.A. degree in the candidate's department; or, for those who enter theGraduate School with an M.A. from another institution or with academicachievements that qualify for two terms of advanced standing, the completion ofthe requirements for the M.A. or M.Phil. degree in the candidate's department.


    II) Eighteen (18) points inmedieval / renaissance course work beyond the requirements for the M.A. orM.Phil. degree in the candidate's department, twelve (12) of these points to betaken outside the candidate's department. The 18 points can include coursestaken at any other institution in the greater New York area Medieval Consortium(City University, Fordham, New York University, Princeton, and Rutgers). If theM.A. is from another institution, a maximum of six (6) points will be given forappropriate courses taken at another institution. In each academic year an effort will be made to identify an interdisciplinary course as a recommended component of these eighteen hours. This course will, to the greatest possible extent, reflect the joint effort of faculty members from more than one department, together with materials from more than one period or discipline.


    III) Achievement of asatisfactory level in written translation from two foreign languages, includingone the following: Arabic, ancient Greek. Hebrew, Latin (classical ormedieval), or a medieval or renaissance vernacular. The standard will be thatrequired by the candidate's department.


    IV) The completion of apaper with an interdisciplinary component in one of the courses taken for thetwelve (12) points outside the candidate's home department, this to be assessedby a second reader as well as the course's instructor.


Courses of Instruction and Research

    Courses in medieval andrenaissance studies are described on the committee’s website ( and inthe listings of the following departments: Art History and Archaeology;Classics; East Asian Langauges and Cultures, English and ComparativeLiterature; French and Romance Philology; Germanic Languages; History; Italian;MEALAC; Music; Philosophy; Political Science; Religion; Spanish and Portuguese.Not all courses are offered every year.

For moreinformation contract the Committee chair Alan Stewart (


Summer Stipend


Columbia's Interdepartmental Committee on Medieval and Renaissance Studies offers three summer fellowships of $3000 through GSAS. These fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis and are intended for students with specific needs for summer research or study who are actively pursuing the Med-Ren certificate, have already taken courses outside their own departments, and cannot obtain summer funding from their own departments. The fellowships cannot be held concurrently with departmental summer funding; those who have such funding should not apply. The application consists of the following materials, sent by Friday April 16 to the committee co-chair, Prof. Alan Stewart, in the Department of English & Comparative Literature, 602 Philosophy Hall.
1. A 1-2 page description of plans for summer research or study, with confirmation that applicant cannot obtain summer funding from the home department;
2. One letter of support for these plans from a faculty member, confirming that applicant cannot obtain summer funding from the home department;
3. Unofficial transcript showing courses taken (from Student Services Online); also include information on relevant graduate coursework taken outside Columbia.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the co-chairs Alan Stewart (email: or Susan Boynton (email: