Santa Clara University

Medeival and Renaissance Studies

Medieval and Renaissance Studies

The minor in Medieval and Renaissance studies offers students from all departments a cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary program of study in Europe's Middle Ages and Renaissance. These periods lay on the edge of modernity, when the distinctive characteristics of the contemporary would began to form and when major new connections were made between Europe and Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, and the Americas. Study of these periods from many different points of view affords an opportunity to gain valuable perspectives on the ways that Medieval and Renaissance persons, events, and institutions helped to shape the modern world. Completion of the minor is noted on the student's transcript, and students receive a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment.


Students must complete the following requirements for a minor in Medieval and Renaissance studies:

  • Seven of the applicable courses listed below must be selected from three different departments.
  • A maximum of 3 lower-division courses.
  • One of the upper-division courses must require an interdisciplinary research paper based on source materials and secondary works dealing with a topic rooted in medieval and/or Renaissance periods.
    • The research paper requirement may be fulfilled by enrolling in MRST 199 under the supervision of an affiliated faculty member and the program director.
  • The student of French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, and/or Spanish is strongly recommended but not required.
  • Students should consult with the Program Director and/or a member of the Program Committee to determine the cluster of courses best suited for their personal interests and preparation.

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Applicable Courses

MRST 199 Independent Study

Directed reading and research in source materials and secondary works dealing with selected problems rooted in the Medieval and/or Renaissance periods, culminating in an interdisciplinary paper. Prerequisite: Permission of the program director and instructor. (2-5 units).

Note: In addition to the courses listed below, certain sections of Cultures & Ideas 11A and 12A may be applied to the minor. Many departments offer occasional special topics, directed reading/directed research, and seminar courses on Medieval and Renaissance topics. Students should consult with the program director to determine the applicability of these, as well as of courses taken at other institutions or while studying abroad, to the minor.

ANTH 146 Perspectives on the Spanish and Native American Experience


ARTH 22 The Visual Culture of Early Modern Europe
ARTH 110 Early Christian and Byzantine Art
ARTH 114 Early Medieval Art
ARTH 116 Romanesque and Gothic Art
ARTH 120 15th Century Florentine Art
ARTH 121 Venice and the Other in the Renaissance
ARTH 122 The Art of Early Modern Rome
ARTH 128 17th Century Italian Painting and Sculpture
ARTH 164 Islamic Art, 600-1350 CE


CLAS 135 Medieval Latin


ENGL 41 Survey of English Literature I
ENGL 54 Shakespeare
ENGL 116 Shakespeare's Tragedies
ENGL 117 Shakespeare's Comedies
ENGL 118 Shakespeare Studies
ENGL 141 Studies in Medieval Literature
ENGL 142 Chaucer
ENGL 143 Studies in Renaissance Literature
ENGL 190 Senior Seminars (on Medieval and Renaissance topics)


HIST 91 Africa in World History
HIST 103 Encounter with the Other: the Jesuits in World History
HIST 104 World History until 1492
HIST 117 State Church in the Middle Ages: 1000-1450
HIST 118 Representation, Rights and Democracy, 1050-1792
HIST 119 Sex, Family, and Crime in Mediterranean Europe, 1300-1800
HIST 122 Pirates of the Mediterranean, Pirates of the Caribbean 1300-1800
HIST 126 Conflicts in Medieval Christianity
HIST 127 The World of St. Francis
HIST 146A Medieval and Early Modern Japan
HIST 147A Premodern China in the World to AD 1600
HIST 154A Ancient, Classical, and Medieval India
HIST 166 Latin America: Empires


FREN 115 Major Works of French Literature
FREN 120 Moyen Age
FREN 130 Humanism and the Renaissance
ITAL 110 Italian Civilization I

ITAL 120 Survey of Italian Literature I
ITAL 130 Dante, La Divina Comedia I
ITAL 131 Dante, La Divina Comedia II
ITAL 140 Duecento, Trecento
ITAL 150 Quattrocento, Cinquecento (Rinasciemento)
SPAN 120 Major Works of Spanish Literature I
SPAN 122 The Spanish Picaresque Novel
SPAN 123 Siglo de Oro Drama
SPAN 130 Survey of Latin American Literature I
SPAN 165 Cervantes: Don Quijote


MUSC 42/142 Concert Choir (Performance)
MUSC 43/143 Chamber Singers (Performance)
MUSC 190 Music of the Middle Ages
MUSC 191 Music of the Renaissance


PHIL 132 Medieval Philosophy


RSOC 65 Early Christianity
TESP 79 Women in Christian History
TESP 82 Witches, Saints and Heretics: Religious Outsiders
TESP 118 Clare of Assisi and Ignatius of Loyola
TESP 143 Theology and Ethics of Thomas Aquinas


THTR 110 Medieval Theatre
THTR 112 Topics in Theatre and Drama prior to 1700
THTR 120 Acting Styles I: Shakespeare

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Participating Faculty

  • Rose Marie Beebe, Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Phyllis Brown, English and Undergraduate Studies
  • Brian J. Buckley, Philosophy 
  • Blake de Maria, Art and Art History
  • William Dohar, Jesuit School of Theology, Pastoral Ministries and Religious Studies
  • Diane Dreher, English
  • Mary Judith Dunbar, English
  • John R. Dunlap, Classics and English
  • Amyrose McCue Gill, Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Jill Goodman-Gould, English
  • Jacquelyn Hendricks, English
  • Gary Macy, Religious Studies
  • Kathleen Maxwell, Art and Art History
  • Michael C. McCarthy, S.J., Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Catholic Studies Program, Classics, Religious Studies
  • Barbara Molony, History
  • Catherine R. Montfort, Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Jean Molesky-Poz, Religious Studies
  • Don Riccomini, English
  • Tonia Riviello, Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Frederick Tollini, S.J., Theatre and Dance
  • Thomas Turley, History
  • Cory Wade, English
  • Michael Zampelli, S.J., Theatre and Dance

Program Director

Brian Buckley
Lecturer in Philosophy
Kenna Hall 209
(408) 551-3000 x4264

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