Medieval Studies Certificate

Certificate director: Maria Doerfler Spring 2023 [Fall 2023/Spring 2024 TBA]; 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 Asia (YC MDVL: East & SE Asia); South Asia (YC MDVL: S & Central Asia); the Near East (YC MDVL: Nr East & N Africa); and Europe (YC MDVL: Eur Russ & N Atlantic). Students may search for courses that count toward the Certificate in YCS by using the attributes indicated after the name of the zone.

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 to be credited for attendance. There are typically six Yale lectures in Medieval Studies every academic year, as well as Medieval Lunch talks. Notice of the these events can be found on the Medieval Studies website.

Completion Procedure and Advising

Students must apply for the Certificate at latest one week before final schedules are due in their final semester of study, by completing the form on the Medieval Studies website attesting fulfillment of all requirements, and submitting it for approval to the Certificate director. Final approval of the certificate rests with the Certificate committee and director. 

Students should also submit a Declaration of Candidacy for a Certificate form, found on the University Registrar’s Office website. The form should be submitted early, but at the latest, before the start of the student’s last semester at Yale. Once submitted, the form goes to both the Certificate Director and the Registrar's Office. Submission of the form, and approval from the Certificate Director, is necessary to ensure that the earned Certificate appears on student transcripts.

summary of Requirements 

Number of courses 5 course credits dispersed between the four zones (East Asia, South Asia, the Near East, Europe)

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