What is Medieval Studies? Medieval studies is the examination of the Middle Ages—the period between the great Classical civilizations and modern times—from the perspectives of several academic disciplines: history, literature, languages, art history, religious studies, music, archeology, political science, and philosophy. Medieval studies traditionally cover Europe in the period from 500 to 1500. The objective of the program is to allow a student to comprehend the medieval mindset and the environment that shaped it.
At UCSB, Medieval Studies is an interdisciplinary program in which the cultures of the European and Middle Eastern Middle Ages can be studied from the viewpoints of many subject areas: history, literature, religious studies, drama, art and music. Through the program, students can explore the character and creative contributions of the medieval period, investigate the dynamic interactions of its diverse Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures, and assess the impact of the Middle Ages on the formation of the New World and the shaping of modern societies.
How Can I Tell If I Would Like Medieval Studies?
A student majoring in Medieval Studies should see herself or himself as an Indiana Jones of culture: an adventurer as well as an archaeologist, an explorer as well as an analyzer. Medieval Studies majors are constantly finding the roots of the present in the past. If you are fascinated by the end of the Roman Empire up through the beginnings of the Renaissance, by some of the world’s most moving music and literature - from the sacred Latin choral music of Thomas Tallis to Donatello’s paintings and sculptures, or by how the feudal social structure of Medieval times is the basis for parliament and Western democracy, then you may like Medieval Studies.
What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?
Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the undergraduate advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.
To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:
- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.
- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.
What Are Some Possible Career Options?
Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be. The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Medieval Studies majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study, options include:
Community College Instructor
High School teacher
To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.
See what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn.
What Can I Do with a Major in Medieval Studies?
Provides possibilities for internships and job positions as well as online resources for researching careers related to Medieval Studies.
Career Opportunities for Majors in Medieval Studies
Gives a brief introduction, sample of related occupations, and types of employers for Medieval Studies majors.
Medieval Studies- Career Overview
Delineates skills and Knowledge developed in this major, as well as a list of possible occupations.
A Degree in Humanities
Information about careers in the Humanities provided by the University of Calgary.
Check out “What Can I do with a major in…?” under Focus 2.
This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.
This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.
Come to the Career Resources Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.
Build your qualifications by exploring various opportunities to get experience in your field of interest.
UCSB Career Services “Job Search” section
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American Alliance of Museums Job Board
Look for museum jobs all over the United States.
Lists internship, fellowships, and art history jobs.
A degree in Medieval Studies provides skills that can be used almost anywhere – even in the US government!
A Guide to Writing and Journalism Jobs
Lists resources for jobs in writing, journalism, and publishing.
Medieval Academy of America
The largest organization in the world devoted to medieval studies. Its goal is the support of research, publication, and teaching in all aspects of the Middle Ages.
International Center for Medieval Art
The International Center of Medieval Art is a world-wide organization dedicated to the study of medieval art and culture.
Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Established in 1981 by the Arizona Board of Regents as a state-wide research unit. Located centrally on the campus of Arizona State University, ACMRS is charged with coordinating and stimulating the interdisciplinary exploration of Medieval and Renaissance culture.
American Translators Association
ATA is a professional association founded to advance the translation and interpreting professions and foster the professional development of individual translators and interpreters.
American Association of Museums
The American Association of Museums’s mission is to enhance the value of museums to their communities through leadership, advocacy, and service.