In the college of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, members of several Departments have joined together to create a vital interdisciplinary program focusing on the medieval and Renaissance periods. The program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies attempts to recreate the interlocking of many disciplines that characterized medieval and Renaissance culture. The modern division into academic disciplines does not adequately reflect the complexity of European culture at this time. For example, some theologians wrote literary works, some poets were well versed in philosophy, some scientists were theologians, artists were inspired by religious ideas as were political theorists.
We offer a set of interlocking courses in literature, philosophy, and religion, music, the fine arts, the history of science and the history of society. Students who participate fully in the Program have the opportunity to earn a certificate. This achievement, which attests to their stamina and commitment beyond the usual requirements of the bachelor's degree, is one means of suggesting strength of mind and purpose to any employer or graduate school.
But Medieval and Renaissance studies are not only for those who choose to make these periods one focus of their college years. The range of Departments and courses allows all undergraduates at the University to satisfy one or several of their General-Education requirements (in Foreign Culture, Literature, Music/Art, Philosophy, History, and Writing) and at the same time learn about the roots of our own civilization. Three-credit and one-credit MRST electives offer additional variety and perspective to any undergraduate degree program, whatever the major field may be. The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program also offers a Graduate Certificate, which can be obtained together with an MA or PhD in one of the departments participating in the Program.
Normal course offerings in the MRST Program are supplemented each year by a series of lectures given by outstanding scholars in a variety of disciplines, and by symposia on Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
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