The medieval and renaissance studies minor reflects the interdisciplinary approach of the liberal arts tradition, allowing students to integrate a wide range of disciplines into the knowledge of a single historical period — the Middle Ages. Drawing on expertise from the fields of art, architecture, history, religion, philosophy and literature, students and faculty will concentrate on the time period in European history from 500 to 1650 C.E. During this time, we see the development of universities, parliaments and banks, as well as the emergence of cathedrals, chivalry as a code of personal and political conduct, cities as centers of commerce and the increasing use of vernacular languages for public functions. The late Middle Ages brought a series of challenges to Europe, including plague, war and the increasing persecution of non-Christians, yet the literature, art and architecture as well as the printing press and magnetic compass remain lasting legacies of the creative energy and inventiveness of Northern Europe and Renaissance Italy.
The medieval and renaissance studies minor offers preparation for students considering careers in education, publishing, museum administration, archival work and public service. For students contemplating their career plans, this minor provides a rigorous and broad-based liberal arts education that future employers will identify as evidence of creativity and critical thinking skills. With planning, it is possible to fulfill the minor by taking medieval and renaissance studies classes that count toward the general education program, especially requirements in humanities, fine arts, ethics and Drury Foundations.