About the Program
The Medieval Studies Program at UC Berkeley is an interdisciplinary group that coordinates and sponsors lectures, events, and visiting professorships; promotes scholarly interests common to medievalists of different academic departments; and communicates information of interest among them. The committee on Medieval Studies offers a concurrent PhD program in which candidates have both a home department and training in the core disciplines of medieval studies. The degree granted is the concurrent PhD in the departmental discipline and medieval studies (e.g., English and medieval studies, history and medieval studies). The concurrent PhD is designed to preserve an established standard of training in a major subject while broadening the student's experience in other aspects of the field. A candidate for the concurrent PhD is expected to fulfill all the PhD requirements of the major field of study.
Admission to the University
Applying for Graduate Admission
Thank you for considering UC Berkeley for graduate study! UC Berkeley offers more than 120 graduate programs representing the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary scholarship. A complete list of graduate academic departments, degrees offered, and application deadlines can be found on the Graduate Division website.
Prospective students must submit an online application to be considered for admission, in addition to any supplemental materials specific to the program for which they are applying. The online application can be found on the Graduate Division website.
The minimum graduate admission requirements are:
A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and
Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.
For a list of requirements to complete your graduate application, please see the Graduate Division’s Admissions Requirements page. It is also important to check with the program or department of interest, as they may have additional requirements specific to their program of study and degree. Department contact information can be found here.
Where to apply?
Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.
Admission to the Program
Graduate students must be accepted for admission to a regular department (e.g., English or History) before applying for a concurrent degree in Medieval Studies.
Doctoral Degree Requirements
Candidates for this concurrent degree program must fulfill the following requirements:
- Completion of three courses, which must include:
- MED ST 200, the proseminar introduces students to a broad range of approaches to medieval materials from across multiple subdisciplines and familiarizes them with specialized research tools and resources.
- HISTORY 275B or another course on a solely medieval topic (Other appropriate graduate courses in history may be substituted with the consent of the graduate adviser.) Students whose home department is History must take two courses in category (c), below.
- Any course from outside the student’s home department, normally drawn from the following:
Course List Code Title Units COM LIT 212 Studies in Medieval Literature 4 ENGLISH 205B Old English 4 ENGLISH 211 Chaucer 4 ENGLISH 212 Readings in Middle English 4 FRENCH 210A Studies in Medieval Literature 4 FRENCH 211A Reading and Interpretation of Old French Texts 4 GERMAN 205 Studies in Medieval Literature 4 HISTART 258 Seminar in Late Medieval Art in Northern Europe 2,4 ITALIAN 212 Seminar on Dante 2,4 MED ST 205 Medieval Manuscripts as Primary Sources 4 MED ST 250 Seminar in Medieval Culture 2-4 SCANDIN 201B Norse Literature 4 SCANDIN 220 Early Scandinavian Literature 4
- Advanced competence in Latin, which will normally be demonstrated through two graduate-level or upper division courses in medieval Latin literature (one of which must normally be Latin 140, Latin 155A or 155B, or Classics 241). The Latin proficiency exams that are offered by some departments may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
- Reading proficiency in at least one medieval vernacular, one of which must be outside the major field of study. Ordinarily such knowledge will be demonstrated through graduate-level or approved upper division coursework, drawn from the following:
Course List Code Title Units CELTIC 105A Old and Middle Irish 4 CELTIC 146A Medieval Welsh Language and Literature 4 or CELTIC 146B Medieval Welsh Language and Literature ENGLISH 104 Introduction to Old English 4 ENGLISH 111 Chaucer 4 ENGLISH 112 Middle English Literature 4 ENGLISH 205B Old English 4 ENGLISH 211 Chaucer 4 ENGLISH 212 Readings in Middle English 4 FRENCH 112A Medieval Literature 4 or FRENCH 112B Medieval Literature FRENCH 114A Late Medieval Literature 4 FRENCH 210A Studies in Medieval Literature 4 FRENCH 211A Reading and Interpretation of Old French Texts 4 GERMAN 105 Middle High German for Undergraduates 4 GERMAN 205 Studies in Medieval Literature 4 GERMAN 273 Gothic 4 GERMAN 276 Old High German 4 GERMAN 280 North Sea Germanic 4 GERMAN 282 Old Saxon 4 ITALIAN 109 Dante's Commedia (in Italian) 4 ITALIAN 110 Literature and Culture of the 13th and 14th Centuries 4 ITALIAN 212 Seminar on Dante 2,4 SCANDIN 101A Introduction to Old Norse I 4 SCANDIN 101B Introduction to Old Norse II 4 SCANDIN 201A Old Norse 4 SCANDIN 201B Norse Literature 4 SCANDIN 220 Early Scandinavian Literature 4
- Working knowledge of the material sources of medieval culture. Ordinarily, this requirement is met through coursework, or approved specialist training, in the study of medieval manuscripts: e.g., palaeography, diplomatics, or codicology. Students may also demonstrate their mastery of primary material sources through an extended essay making substantial and original use of these skills. When appropriate, and with the consent of the graduate adviser, training in allied disciplines making use of primary materials (such as epigraphy or medieval archaeology) may be accepted.
- A field statement of 30-50 pages, which situates the major area of interest in an interdisciplinary setting. This is not a prospectus setting out the specific plan of research for a dissertation, but a broader and more preliminary contextualizing essay, placing the present state and resources of the student’s home discipline in relation to those other disciplines of medieval studies of which the student will need to have a sophisticated apprehension in order to conceive such a plan of research. This statement will be evaluated by the student’s adviser and the Medieval Studies representative to the examination committee (see , below). The field statement must be approved by both the adviser and examiner at least 30 days prior to the oral qualifying examination. It should thus ordinarily be submitted to the relevant faculty members about six weeks prior to the date of the oral examination.
- A special committee for the PhD qualifying examination. A representative of Medieval Studies must serve on the PhD orals examination committee. In the event of a failure on either the field statement or the Medieval Studies portion of the qualifying exam, the candidate may revise the field statement and/or retake the Medieval Studies portion of the orals in accordance with the policies of the Graduate Division, Policies and Procedures F.2.7.
- Regular participation in the Medieval Studies Colloquium, and one presentation of dissertation-work in progress to that colloquium.
Medieval Studies Program
7305 Dwinelle Hall
Program Director and Graduate Advisor
Jonas Wellendorf, PhD (Department of Scandinavian Studies)
434 Wheeler Hall
Undergraduate Minor Advisor
Jacki Valadez (English Department)
April Sanders (English Department)