Medieval Studies Certificate

Certificate director: Emily Thornbury; 432-0672; Medieval Studies

This certificate is available to all interested Yale College students, and provides them an opportunity to pursue a focused curriculum, in addition to their major, that will strengthen their liberal arts education. Medieval Studies is the interdisciplinary study of the histories, languages, and cultures of the medieval period worldwide. This certificate provides a curated set of courses across a range of departments—including, but not limited to, East Asian Studies, English, History, History of Art, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Religious Studies—to expand and deepen those interests.

The certificate requirements are flexible enough to offer structure and guidance to those students with a general interest in Medieval Studies, as well as accommodate interdisciplinary breadth for students whose research is already focused on the medieval period.


Students must successfully complete five course credits on medieval topics, drawn from the list of approved courses posted each semester on the Medieval Studies website. Other course credits may be approved by permission of the certificate director and the course instructor.

Of the five credits: no more than three may originate in the same zone. As currently configured, the four zones are East and Southeast Asia, South and Central Asia, the Near East and North Africa, and Europe, Russia, and the North Atlantic. Students may search for courses that count toward the certificate in YCS by using the attributes indicated below.

Additionally, no more than two course credits may overlap in the fulfillment of the requirements of the Medieval Studies Certificate or of a major, a simultaneous degree, or another certificate. Additionally, no course credit may be applied toward the requirements of more than two curricular programs. For example, the same course credit may not be used to fulfill the requirements of two certificates and a major. 

In addition to the course requirements, each student must attend three lectures on medieval topics. After each lecture, students should submit a 1–2 page account of the lecture to the certificate director or one of the certificate advisors to be credited for attendance. There are typically six Yale lectures in Medieval Studies every academic year, as well as weekly Medieval Lunch talks. Events in other departments, or outside Yale, may also count toward the lecture requirement. Notice of relevant events can be found on the Medieval Studies website and via the email listserv.

 Yale Course Search Searchable Attributes:

Declaration of Candidacy

Students interested in learning more about the certificate should complete the form found on the Medieval Studies website, or contact the certificate director. Students must submit a Declaration of Candidacy for a Certificate form, as early as possible, but at the very latest, before the start of the student’s last semester at Yale. The form can be found on the University Registrar’s Office website. Once declared, Degree Audit tracks students' progress toward completion of the certificate.

summary of Requirements 

Number of courses 5 course credits dispersed between the four geographic zones 

Distribution of courses up to 3 courses in any one of the four zones

Additional requirements attendance at 3 Medieval Studies lectures, each followed by a 1–2 page account of the event