University of Pittsburgh
Graduate Certificates

Requirements

General Requirements

For students wishing to complete the MRST certificate at the graduate level, writing a research paper focused on medieval and/or Renaissance Studies is the most important requirement. As specified by the University, a MA certificate also requires at least 15 credits (five courses) and a PhD certificate requires 18 credits (six courses). Many of these credits may be drawn from coursework already required for the student’s degree in the home department (for instance, the requirements for English, HAA, or French and Italian). Working with the Director of MRST, the student will create an individually tailored course of study that gives consideration both to the requirements of home departments and to the importance of interdisciplinary study.


MA Certificate Requirements

  1. A major interdisciplinary research paper in medieval and/or Renaissance studies. This may be either an MA thesis or a substantial term paper (20–30 pages).
  2. At least two graduate courses focused on medieval and/or Renaissance studies. We strongly encourage students to take courses outside of their home departments. In some cases—involving, for instance, infrequent course offerings or research abroad—students may petition the Director to reduce the number of courses required.
  3. We strongly recommend (but do not require) that MA certificate candidates acquire a reading knowledge of at least one language other than English.
  4. A one-page cover letter attached to the research paper. The letter should be addressed to the Program Director and should use direct language and specific examples. In this letter, we would like you to reflect on what you have learned from earning a certificate from the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. In addition to considerations of your own (which interest us a great deal), please address the following: What were the benefits and challenges of doing an interdisciplinary certificate? Did ideas from one course relate to and/or enhance your work for a course in a different department? Can you compare or combine the different ways in which two or more disciplines taught you to approach texts, objects, or ideas? What did you learn from investigating cultures that are temporally, geographically, and culturally different from your own? Did you feel that the courses you took for the MRST certificate provided you with tools helpful for viewing more clearly not only a distant society but also our own?

PhD Certificate Requirements

  1. A PhD thesis of an interdisciplinary nature focused on medieval and/or Renaissance studies.
  2. At least four graduate courses focused on medieval and/or Renaissance studies. We strongly encourage students to take courses outside of their home departments. In some cases—involving, for instance, infrequent course offerings or research abroad—students may petition the Director to reduce the number of courses required.
  3.  A reading knowledge of one language other than English. We also strongly recommend (but do not require) that PhD certificate candidates acquire a reading knowledge of Latin.
  4. A one-page cover letter attached to the thesis. The letter should be addressed to the Program Director and should use direct language and specific examples. In this letter, we would like you to reflect on what you have learned from earning a certificate from the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. In addition to considerations of your own (which interest us a great deal), please address the following: What were the benefits and challenges of doing an interdisciplinary certificate? Did ideas from one course relate to and/or enhance your work for a course in a different department? Can you compare or combine the different ways in which two or more disciplines taught you to approach texts, objects, or ideas? What did you learn from investigating cultures that are temporally, geographically, and culturally different from your own? Did you feel that the courses you took for the MRST certificate provided you with tools helpful for viewing more clearly not only a distant society but also our own?