University of Pittsburgh
Undergraduate Certificate


Certificate Requirements

The Certificate requires 15 credits (five courses), of which a minimum of 9 credits (three courses) will be earned in 1000-level courses.

To develop an acquaintance with some major events, moments, and individuals in pre-17th-century Europe, the Program requires students to take at least one course on the medieval period and at least one on the early modern era.

This means that your work for the certificate will include coursework from at least three different departments, an important requirement given the interdisciplinary nature of our program. Courses should not be chosen at random but should follow a pattern of interrelated studies worked out with a Program Advisor from one of the cooperating Departments or with the Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

A strong recommendation, beyond these requirements, is that certificate candidates acquire a reading knowledge of a modern European language as early as possible. In addition, Latin is suggested for those who plan to do graduate work in the field.

Summary of Requirements

At least five courses:
  • Three of these five courses must be at the level of 1000 or above
  • One of these five must be focused on the medieval period. (See list of qualifying courses below)
  • One of these five must be focused on the Renaissance period. (See list below)
  • No more than two courses from any given department may count toward the total of five courses. In practice this means that your work for the certificate must include courses from at least three different departments.

Students must submit two things in their final semester:
  • An essay written for the course used to satisfy either the Medieval or the Renaissance requirement for our certificate. Please note that you do not have to write a separate essay or revise the old essay: simply turn in a copy of the paper you already wrote (with the instructor's comments on it if possible).
  • A one-page cover letter attached to the writing sample. 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?
  • These documents should be submitted by mid-semester to Briar Somerville in the Cathedral of Learning, Room 454.