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Graduate Studies

Known for its excellence in diverse fields of medieval research, Fordham University offers the master of arts degree in medieval studies and a doctoral-level medieval concentration. Fordham's intimate size and tradition of devotion to teaching offers students an intellectual climate in which faculty members, well-known and active in the scholarly community, encourage and support students in their academic pursuits. The University offers graduate assistantships and fellowships to a limited number of students.

The program is administered through its Director and through the Center for Medieval Studies, located at the Rose Hill campus. The Center houses a small library and discussion area available to students. The main University library is especially strong in its medieval holdings. Fordham's location in New York City affords easy access to other major libraries (such as the Pierpont Morgan and the New York Public Library), museums (for example, The Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art), and other institutions of higher learning. A University-operated campus shuttle makes regular trips between the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses throughout the day and evening.

The Center supports the exchange of views and information through its annual conferences and speakers series. Fordham faculty are also invited to address colleagues and students informally, and graduate students have also presented lectures.


The Doctoral Certificate in Medieval Studies

Medieval Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers students the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the Middle Ages and to integrate in a coherent whole various facets of medieval civilization. While stressing the importance of obtaining a thorough grounding in one of the medieval disciplines, the program also encourages students to pursue additional studies in medieval subjects outside the major field.

Students who have already been accepted to a doctoral program in one of the participating doctoral departments at Fordham (Classics, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Theology) are eligible to apply to the Director of the Center for Medieval Studies for admission to the Medieval Studies doctoral concentration. Upon acceptance, the candidate must complete the following requirements:

  • Four graduate-level courses selected from among the medieval course offerings of the Medieval Studies program and the Center’s participating departments. The courses should be chosen to create two minor fields (two courses in each field), both of which must be outside the student's own doctoral department. A minor field may be disciplinary (for example, two courses offered by one department) or thematic (for example, Manuscript Studies, Medieval Art, Medieval Italian Literature, Medieval Liturgy, Medieval Mysticism and Spirituality, Medieval Women, Monasticism, Old French, Scholastic Thought, etc.). Students who have completed an MA in Medieval Studies at Fordham may count two of their MA courses towards the doctoral concentration.
  • A course in Latin Paleography.
  • A reading knowledge of Latin (or Greek where appropriate).
  • A reading knowledge of two vernacular languages (other than English).
  • Upon completion of all course and language requirements, the student must pass comprehensive exams in the two minor fields.

The assessment of reading knowledge in a foreign language follows the guidelines set out by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The comprehensive exams in the minor fields generally consist of a three-hour written exam for each field, with questions set and marked by the student's instructors in the minor field courses. In doctoral departments which allow students to choose a minor field outside the department, candidates for the doctoral certificate may opt to take one of the minor fields according to the guidelines of the home department (for example, an oral exam if the student is doing a PhD in History). Minor field exams will normally be graded high pass, pass, or fail. Students who fail one or more of the minor field exams are allowed to retake each exam once, normally within one calendar year of the first attempt.

Upon the successful completion of these requirements and a successful defense of a dissertation written under a mentor from the major department, the student will receive the Doctoral Certificate in Medieval Studies at Commencement ceremonies when the PhD is awarded.




Last modified: January 2013
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