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Medieval Studies, Minor

Anyone with a fascination for things medieval can choose the minor in medieval studies at Saint Louis University as a way of acquiring a broad-based liberal arts education.

By focusing on the culture of one period and approaching it from multiple viewpoints—historical, artistic, literary, philosophical, theological—students can dig deeply into the mentality of the time, immerse themselves in a variety of expressions of human experience, and study how all these manifestations of the human spirit (which are normally studied in separate departments) relate to each other and affect one another. In addition, as with any program in the humanities, the minor in medieval studies provides the opportunity to sharpen research, analysis, speaking and writing.

The Middle Ages gave us Charlemagne and the Crusades, illuminated manuscripts and Gothic cathedrals, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Dante’s Inferno, Ockham’s razor and St. Thomas Aquinas, and even the university itself. This vibrant, diverse period is fascinating in its own right, but it also helped to produce the world as we know it today by laying the foundations for modern society. Its enduring appeal may be seen in countless aspects of contemporary popular culture, from Dungeons and Dragons to World of Warcraft, from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien to Game of Thrones. It is impossible to understand today’s world without the Middle Ages.

Program Highlights

  • Saint Louis University is renowned for its strength in the study of the Middle Ages. Boasting dozens of medievalists in half a dozen departments, SLU’s faculty can provide an education unmatched in breadth and depth by any other school in the country.
  • SLU’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies serves to support, coordinate, and promote these scholars, their students, and the resources and opportunities found here—including the Vatican Film Library, research trips overseas, numerous speakers from within and beyond the university on a variety of topics, and even an annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies held every June. By studying the Middle Ages, a student can truly sample the best SLU has to offer.
  • The minor in medieval studies is an interdisciplinary program that can complement major programs in a variety of areas, including history, art history, literature (English, French, German, Italian, Latin, or Spanish), philosophy, and theological studies. In many cases, courses that count for one of these majors can also count for the minor in medieval studies. Many students also find the minor to be a useful balance to majors in areas such as math, science, and pre-medical studies.


The minor in medieval studies can be a pathway to deeper exploration of the Middle Ages as a graduate student, teacher, or professor, or outside academia as a museum curator, historical consultant, or librarian. More broadly, the study of the humanities helps the student to experience and ponder what it means to be human—which can enrich any career in the “people professions,” from business to medicine to international relations.

Finally, learning how to research carefully, to analyze cogently, to argue persuasively, and to express oneself clearly and elegantly will prepare students for positions of leadership in society, as well as for occupations in law, journalism, and other vocations involving the spoken and written word.

Required Courses
MDVL 2100The Medieval World3
LATN 2010Intermediate Latin: Language & Literature 13
Select one course from four of the following discipline areas:12
MDVL 4960Medieval Synthesis3
Total Credits21

Fulfilled by passing LATN 2010 Intermediate Latin: Language & Literature (3 cr) with a "C+" or better, or testing out of LATN 2010 Intermediate Latin: Language & Literature (3 cr), or passing a Latin course above LATN 2010 Intermediate Latin: Language & Literature (3 cr).

Continuation Standards

Students must have a GPA of 2.00 in medieval studies major/minor coursework to be retained in the major/minor.

Medieval Art History

Courses with a 'Medieval (Minor) - Art History' attribute, such as:

ARTH 3140
Islamic Art and Society: Advanced
ARTH 3410
Art of Cathedrals and Kings: Advanced
ARTH 3450
Art of Pilgrimage and Crusades: Advanced Studies

Medieval History

Courses with a 'Medieval (Minor ) - History' attribute, such as:

HIST 3030
The Byzantine World: Faith and Power in a Thousand-Year Empire
HIST 3760
Medieval Spain

Medieval Literature

Courses with a 'Medieval (Minor) - Literature' attribute, such as:

ENGL 4100
History of the English Language
ENGL 4240
Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
GR 4500
Courtly Love and Life Portrayed Through Medieval German Literature
ITAL 3400
Dante's Divine Comedy
LATN 4110
Medieval Latin Readings I
SPAN 4820
The short story in medieval Spain: fear, education and humor

Medieval Philosophy

Courses with a 'Medieval (Minor) - Philosophy' attribute, such as:

PHIL 4120
Topics in Epistemology
PHIL 4210
Topics in Metaphysics
PHIL 4570
Latin Paleography

Medieval Theology

Courses with a 'Medieval (Minor) - Theology' attribute, such as:

THEO 3345
The Life and Theology of Augustine of Hippo
THEO 3370
Teachers in Medieval Christianity
THEO 5270
Christian Tradition I