Certificate Program

The certificate in Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ca. 500 to 1800 AD) is designed to help Ph.D. students acquire an interdisciplinary grounding in their area of expertise as well as develop disciplinary, geographical, and chronological range, in order to build community among students from different departments, and to foster interaction with faculty from different fields. We feel strongly that one’s own discipline is more clearly understood when its practices are located among those of other fields.

MEMS is a 15-credit program.  One course is required for all students—the MEMS graduate proseminar. This class is typically team-taught by faculty from different departments who model in the classroom the kinds of interdisciplinary enquiry the certificate program encourages. Addressing such topics as urbanization, courts, the roles of women, the impact of religion, colonialism, encounters between east and west, nation-building, and material culture, each proseminar will in its own way focus on the distinctive character of premodern cultures and the special research problems and disciplinary challenges they present.

The remaining 12 credits required for the certificate can be fulfilled with graduate-level courses in the premodern periods. Nine of the total 15 credit hours may include coursework required for the student’s graduate or professional degree. Up to 3 credits may be accepted from non-credit experiential activity equivalent to at least a 3-credit hour course (such as an internship, practicum, research, professional project or similar experiences in areas such as codicology, paleography, or curating).

Along with the yearly MEMS proseminar, we offer a continuing prospectus- and dissertation-writing seminar to give graduate students a clear sense of an interdisciplinary community. This seminar will provide its participants an opportunity to share their works-in-progress with peers from a variety of backgrounds and address issues of common interest in research, method, and writing across the disciplines.

The MEMS program is committed to supporting certificate students in the additional training and archival work necessary to the fields it represents.


Admissions take place throughout the year and are reviewed by the MEMS Executive Committee on an ongoing basis.

Recent MEMS Dissertations +

  • Laura Ambrose, Plotting Movement: Representations of Local Travel in Early Modern England, 1600-1660
  • Andrea Boboc, Justice on Trial: Judicial Abuse and Acculturation in Late Medieval English Literature, 1381-1481
  • Heather Flaherty, The Place of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis in the Rise of Affective Piety in the Later Middle Ages
  • Kris Luce, Revolutions in Parallel: The Rise and Fall of Drawing within Architectural Design
  • Sean Roberts, Cartography between Cultures: Francesco Berlinghieri’s Geographia of 1482
  • Ella-Natalie Rothman, Between Venice and Istanbul: Trans-Imperial Subjects and Cultural Mediation in the Early Modern Mediterranean
  • Marjorie Rubright, Double Dutch: Approximate Identities in Early Modern English Culture
  • Noel Schiller, The Art of Laughter: Society, Civility, and Viewing Practices in the Netherlands 1600-1640.