MA in Medieval Studies

A medieval manuscript illustration of people gathered around a speaker (Chaucer), while others pass on a causeway or bridge behind them
The "Troilus Frontispiece": Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 61 (fol 1v)

This concentration requires 33 hours of interdisciplinary work (21 of which must be completed in English), competence in Latin, an MA examination, and a substantial portfolio of scholarly work.

Course Requirements (33 hrs)

Core Courses (15 hrs)

  • Engl. 500: Introduction to the Professional Study of English (3 hrs) (Must be taken in the first semester of graduate study)
  • Engl. 551: Topics in Medieval Studies: Bibliographical and Research Methods (3 hrs)
  • Engl. 547: Old English (3 hrs)
  • Engl. 581: Chaucer (3 hrs)
  • History 503 or 504: Early or High Middle Ages (3 hrs)

Distribution Requirements (9 hrs)

Students must take three courses chosen from at least two of the following groups. The four-hour seminar requirement and other courses in Old or Middle English do not count toward the distribution requirements.

  1. British literature to 1660
  2. British literature from 1660 to 1900
  3. American literature to 1900
  4. Literatures in English since 1900
  5. Literary criticism and theory, rhetoric and writing

Seminar Requirement (3 hrs)

Any 600-level seminar course in Old or Middle English literature or language.

Multidisciplinary Courses (6 hrs)

Students must take two courses from two of the following disciplines: Art History, History, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, or Latin.

Language Skill Requirement

Students in this concentration must choose Latin as their language skill and pass Latin 2120 (Intermediate Latin) or Engl. 551 (when on the topic of Medieval Latin) with a grade of B or better. Coursework from previous institutions, coursework at UNM, or tests administered either by UNM or CLEP may be used to fulfill the language skill requirement. Language skill course credits cannot normally be used as part of the 33 credit hours required for the degree.

Master's Examination

This examination is generally taken after completing 24 hours of graduate credit and the foreign language requirement. The examination is given twice per year: on the third Monday in February and the third Monday in September.

The exam is a four-hour, closed-book test covering a 50-item list of multidisciplinary medieval works. Students receive this list when they enter the Master's program. If students do not take the MA examination on schedule (typically in the Spring or Fall semesters two years after entrance), they will be responsible for the 50-item list in effect at the time of their examination, which may include changes.

An item on the list may be a work (or groups of works) of literature (e.g., epic, hagiographic, lyric), history (e.g., chronicles, histories, legal documents), art history, or philosophy. Items are distributed chronologically between the early and high Middle Ages, that is from 500 to 1400. The Medieval Studies Graduate Committee will review the 50-Item list every two years and make any needed changes.

Students are highly encouraged to consult the Recommended Secondary Sources Reading List.

MA in Medieval Studies Portfolio

The portfolio consists of two article-length essays (18-25 pages) showing a high level of scholarship, critical thinking, and writing. The essays must either represent two different medieval periods, combine two different cultures within one period, combine a medieval period with a later historical period, or combine an historical topic with one in literature (or another discipline).

Department of English Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Second Floor
MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021