Global Medieval Studies

The Global Medieval Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate major in Global Medieval Studies, as well as a minor (open to students in the College of Arts and Sciences, MSB, and SFS), both focused on the thousand-year span between about 500 and 1500 C.E.. The program focuses on a historical and cultural period in which Georgetown University has particular strengths across many disciplines, ranging from art and music to philosophy, from literature and history to theology, from China to the Middle East to Europe.

The period between ca. 500 and 1500 C.E. is not only interesting in itself; it was a seminal period in the narrative of modern culture. This era witnessed extraordinary interchange between East and West, especially in technology, literature, science, education, and trade; it also saw the growth and spread of Christianity; the spread of Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia; the establishment of the Hindu synthesis in South Asia; the remarkable rise, spread, and civilization of Islam; the codification of common law; the development of business law and ethics; the establishment of the first secular schools of medicine and law; the invention of banking; the rediscovery of Aristotle in the West; the rise of vernacular literatures, art, and music; and the establishment of the university. These and other developments have had a lasting impact on the world’s cultures.

Major in Global Medieval Studies

Global Medieval Studies majors may choose one of two tracks:

Global Medieval Studies Major

Majors are required to complete ten (10) courses, or a minimum of 30 credit hours, which are designated as GMST courses or X-listed with GMST.   Up to 2 language courses can also be given GMST credit upon approval by the Program Director.   Of the 10 courses, at least 2 must focus on a geographical area outside of Europe and an additional 2 courses must focus on a geographical area within Europe.

Honors Global Medieval Studies Major

To earn the Honors major degree, majors are required to complete eleven (11) courses, totaling a minimum of 33 credit hours, designated as GMST or X-listed with GMST and with the same geographical distribution requirements as above.   Up to 2 language courses can also be given GMST credit upon approval by the Program Director.   The 11 courses for the major must include a 2-course sequence taken in senior year, GMST 4960 and GMST 4961, Advanced Research in Global Medieval Studies.  These courses culminate in a 40-60 page senior thesis, which must receive a grade of A- or higher in order for the student to receive the Honors designation.

All majors are encouraged to study languages relevant to medieval scholarship. If approved by the Program Director, up to 2 relevant language courses (beyond those counted for the College’s Core Requirements) can be counted towards the major course requirements. Relevant languages include those used in the medieval period or languages in which modern scholarship on the medieval world is conducted.

Minor in Global Medieval Studies

A minor in Global Medieval Studies is available to students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the McDonough School of Business, and the School of Foreign Service. Students are required to take six courses from the list of GMST courses and X-listed courses that appears in the Schedule of Classes and the program’s website every semester. Of the six courses, at least one must focus on Europe and at least one must focus on a geographical area outside of Europe. Students should consult with the director of Medieval Studies about their course of study. 

See current course listings here