We're delighted you're interested in the Middle Ages
The world of the Middle Ages was far different from the one we know today and yet many of the things we take for granted, from the bound book to international banking, have their roots in those distant centuries.
Whether you are a student, a professor or a local, we invite you to join the Medieval Studies community and to take advantage of all it has to offer.
Because we're especially proud of our certificate students, we'd like you to meet some of them:
Andrew Bielecki ('24)
As a Dual Degree Candidate here at UMass, studying both History and Anthropology, the Medieval Studies Certificate provides me with ample access and opportunities to explore subjects not commonly taught in either of my disciplines. I first became interested in the Certificate after taking History 394TI: Mongol and Turkish Empires with Professor Anne Broadbridge, which really enlightened me as to both how valuable and how enjoyable an education in Medieval Studies can be. Further, the Certificate bolsters my work in the Political Science minor, where courses in pre-modern political thought are often difficult to find, and also for my Religious Studies Certificate, where, of course, the medieval world forms a crucial portion of discussions on cross-cultural religious exchange, theology, and so on.
The flexibility and breadth of the Certificate allow for anyone to take a myriad of courses in several different departments. As of now, I have only taken courses in my major departments, but I plan to explore my Medieval Studies options in the Art History, English, Middle Eastern, and perhaps Chinese, Japanese, or Judaic Studies departments. Regardless, the options develop and change every semester, with new and promising courses being offered all the time!
If you are considering pursuing this Certificate, I would highly recommend it, no matter your discipline. Though it may be the most beneficial to you if you are studying History, Art History, or similar subjects, this Certificate is open to anyone and everyone. What I appreciate the most about the Certificate, beyond the wonderful faculty and academic options, is what it has aided me in understanding not just our shared past, but our shared present.
Mia DePalma ('23)
I first became interested in the Medieval Studies Certificate because in my time as a history major, my absolute favorite classes to take (as well as one of my favorite eras to study in general) revolved around the Middle Ages. I think that it's so easy to forget that the people living in this era were real people who were in a lot of ways similar to people today, and diving deeper into the actual history is such a simple way to remind ourselves of that. I think that the purpose of studying history is to try to understand people as they were, and there’s just so much to try to understand when it comes to examining Medieval art, history, and culture.
The Medieval Studies Certificate is such a great offering on the university’s part, and I love how flexible it is in terms of course subjects. I think that being able to dive deeper into an era that’s so broadly misunderstood is such a valuable opportunity, and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the Middle Ages.
Emma Holtz ('23)
As an Art History student with a passion for medieval history and culture, the Medieval Studies certificate has been an amazing opportunity for me to expand my knowledge in my favorite subject. I first became interested in medieval history through the art of the period, but my participation in the certificate program opened my eyes to the wealth of information about the medieval world that UMass and the Five Colleges have to offer.
You can tailor the certificate to your interests based on the variety of classes offered each semester. I have taken courses in Art History, Judaic Studies, and Old English, but there are so many more options available!
If you’re interested in the certificate but are still considering whether or not to take a course, my advice is to go for it! I’ve learned so much in a diverse array of subjects, and can’t wait to continue my studies of medieval history.
Katie Robertson ('25)
As a History major and member of the Commonwealth Honors College, I became interested in the Medieval Certificate because of my desire to study such a greatly interesting yet misunderstood time in history. Since the history major is so broad, the opportunity to take a majority of my classes related to medieval subjects, made me really happy. My interest in languages opened doors to study medieval literature and prepare for my senior thesis.
The medieval certificate here has allowed me to dive deeper into my interests and prepare myself for the path to graduate school. The certificate is exceptionally flexible and the breadth of study allows you to take several different subjects like Old English, Italian, and Judaic studies to name a few. The department also holds lots of great seminars and speakers across the Five Colleges which is a great way to connect with other medievalists in the community!