The Catholic University of America

Certificate in Medieval Studies

The Center’s certificate program in Medieval Studies is the only program of its kind in the greater DC area. It is designed to offer students a broad experience in various components of medieval civilization, providing both perspective and tools for specialized research. The program offers three areas of specialization, reflecting the special strengths of the University and our faculty:

I. The Medieval West
II. Byzantine and Orthodox Studies
III. The Islamic World

The program of 15 hours of academic credit is based on an interdisciplinary curriculum that can satisfy the needs and interest of students in a variety of scholarly fields related to the study of the medieval period, and provide them with concentrated and carefully supervised opportunities for graduate level instruction, which may serve as an entry point for a traditional degree program or as an abbreviated course of study serving professional or personal interests.

The certificate program is designed for

  • students who are currently enrolled at graduate programs in other academic fields at CUA or elsewhere and wish to complete additional graduate training and earn a separate credential in a second teaching or research field and thus enhance their chances on the academic job market;
  • students with a BA who wish to achieve an interdisciplinary graduate credential within a year of two, or those who are planning to enter graduate studies focusing on any aspect of the medieval period;
  • for continuing-education and non-traditional students who wish to update and enhance their knowledge in a selection of disciplines related to the study of the Middle Ages and to be part of an on-campus scholarly community.

 

Why choose the certificate program?

  • The certificate can serve as an additional credential of interdisciplinary expertise in Medieval Studies for students pursuing a degree program in a traditional discipline and improve their opportunities for employment and admission to competitive graduate programs.
  • The program provides special graduate qualification, without comprehensive examinations or thesis, requiring only course work over a minimum of two semesters.
  • It provides a wide variety of courses, which enables students to acquire expertise both in the content areas of the three tracks and in relevant skills related to the field.
  • It provides strong interdisciplinary training for students who may ultimately choose to enroll in CUA’s own graduate programs.
  • It offers enrollees opportunities to take advantage of the resources available at a research university in the capital and its numerous partner institutions (lectures, colloquia, local special collections, museum collections and events, libraries).

FAQs and requirements:

  • For admission to the program, a BA is required from all of applicants (but no GRE scores).
  • Course work consists of 15 credit-hours (i.e., five courses) at graduate level (based on a list of approved courses of all participating schools and departments).
  • The program is available to any graduate student in any CUA school or department and to admitted external applicants with an undergraduate degree.
  • It permits enrollees from other CUA programs to count courses twice (as is possible when a certificate program is combined with a degree program) and admitted external applicants to request transfer of graduate credits to masters’ and doctoral programs elsewhere.

Time frame of studies

The certificate may be pursued either part-time or full-time, either as a candidate for a graduate degree at CUA or as a non-degree certificate student (ND-CERT). Course work for the certificate can be completed in one academic year (2/3 or 3/2 course load); non-degree students must complete their course work in no more than five consecutive semesters (i.e., two and a half academic years; one course per semester without interruption).

Distribution of courses:

I. The Medieval West

Enrollees select five approved graduate courses with a focus on the medieval West from the following three categories, choosing at least one course from each:

(A) History and Social Structures:
Courses in any aspect of western medieval history (e.g., social, political, institutional, economic, legal, cultural, gender studies, etc.).

(B) Thought and Worship:
Courses in medieval religions, theology, philosophy, or liturgy.

(C) Cultural and Artistic Expressions:
Courses in medieval literatures, languages, art, architecture, music, or material culture.

II. Byzantine and Orthodox Studies

Enrollees select five approved graduate courses from the following two categories, choosing at least one course from each:

(A) History and Social Structures:
Courses in Byzantine history and in the history of the Christian Near East.

(B) Thought, Worship, Culture, and the Arts:
Courses in eastern patristic theology, eastern liturgy, ancient/late antique Greek philosophy, and Byzantine art, as well as approved advanced Greek courses.

III. The Islamic World

Enrollees select five approved graduate courses from the following three categories, choosing at least one course from each:

(A) History and Social Structures:
Courses in any aspect of the history of the Islamic world and the Christian Near East.

(B) Thought and Worship:
Courses in medieval philosophy, religions, theology, or liturgy.

(C) Cultural and Artistic Expressions:
Courses in medieval literatures and languages of the Islamic world and the Christian Near East.

List of approved courses:

A list of certificate courses is published prior to the beginning of each semester based on current graduate course offers in qualifying fields of study. The list is subject to approval by the Director of MBS or the advisor of the certificate program.