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“Medieval and early modern studies is an exciting opportunity for self-starting students to build their own major around a passion for the Middle Ages and challenge themselves through reading and research.” -Michelle Herder, Associate Professor of History

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Immerse yourself in medieval and early modern studies

Cornell student listens in classThe medieval and early modern studies (MEMS) program is designed to help you gain an awareness of the interconnectedness of historical, cultural, and artistic developments in Europe from the eighth through the seventeenth centuries.

MEMS courses range from the study of revolutions in religious belief to the impact of the printing press on literature and culture, from artistic representations of she-devils to the writings of political and moral philosophers, and from Charlemagne to Falstaff.

One Course At A Time allows an immersive study of the distant past, letting you really dig into the exciting and unfamiliar culture of the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. In a course on the Crusades, you will work with other students to develop a map-based website exploring the history of the Crusades. You might experience Renaissance politics through immersive simulations in which you play the roles of Florentine politicians or members of Parliament. Other students have adapted medieval French romances into digital games.

You’ll work directly with a faculty advisor to develop an individualized major plan in medieval and early modern studies, including work in languages, history, arts, and literature, and culminating in a capstone research or creative project.

Learning without boundaries

Cornell students talk in classMedieval and early modern studies is an interdisciplinary program that spans a diverse array of subject areas ranging from history to literature to the arts. Cornell's One Course At A Time curriculum enables you to delve deeper into your studies through research seminars led by Cornell faculty at Chicago's Newberry Library, research fellowships through the Cornell Fellows Program, and off-campus semesters in Florence or London-Florence.

The medieval and early modern studies program is truly interdisciplinary. Faculty from seven different disciplines offer courses pertinent to the major. Majors are guided to choose the course of study best suited to their interests.

The One Course schedule has allowed for off-campus study opportunities in places such as Italy and England. You are encouraged to study off-campus, especially as a participant in semester-long courses sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.