Concurrent Ph.D.

The Committee on Medieval Studies offers a Concurrent Ph.D. in which candidates belong to a home department while also receiving training in the core disciplines of Medieval Studies. Applicants should apply to their intended home department (e.g. English) for admission to graduate study. Once accepted and enrolled in the home department, the student may then apply for admission to the Medieval Studies Concurrent Ph.D. program. The degree granted will be the Ph.D. in "X and Medieval Studies" (e.g. French and Medieval Studies, History and Medieval Studies, etc.).

Candidates for this Concurrent Degree Program must fulfill the following requirements:

1. Coursework:

  1. a. Methods proseminar (Medieval Studies 200). The proseminar introduces students to a broad range of approaches to medieval materials from across multiple subdisciplines, and familiarizes them with specialized research tools and resources. Each iteration is organized around a central theme, which usually engages the work of distinguished visiting scholars. The proseminar is offered every other year in the Spring of odd-numbered years (2015, 2017, 2019, etc.), normally Mondays 4–7pm. Students will ordinarily take the proseminar during the first two years of their study.
  1. b. A course in medieval history (normally History 275, or History 280 on a solely medieval topic). Those whose home department is History will be expected instead to complete two courses in 1[c], below.
  1. c. Another course from outside the home department, on a solely medieval topic. Normally the course will be chosen from one of the following: Comparative Literature 212, English 205B, English 211, English 212, French 210A or B, French 211A, German 201A, German 205, History of Art 258, Italian Studies 212, Medieval Studies 205, Medieval Studies 210, Medieval Studies 250, Scandinavian 201B, Scandinavian 220. Another graduate-level course on a medieval topic may be substituted with the permission of the Graduate Adviser.

2. Advanced competence in Medieval Latin. Concurrent degree students must have a strong reading knowledge of Latin, normally demonstrated through the completion of two upper-division or graduate-level courses in Latin literature, of which one must be Latin 140, Latin 155A or 155B, or Classics 241. Departmental Latin exams may not be substituted.

3. Reading proficiency in a medieval vernacular language.  Students must have reading proficiency in a medieval form of a modern European language outside the major field of study, either through examination administered by the Medieval Studies program or through approved coursework (an upper-division or graduate-level literature course; ordinarily drawn from the following: Celtic Studies 105A, Celtic Studies 146A or B, English 104, English 111, English 112, English 205B, English 211, English 212, French 112 A or B, French 114A or B, French 210 A or B, French 211A, German 105, German 201A, German 205, German 273, German 276, German 280, German 282, Italian Studies 109, Italian Studies 110, Italian Studies 212, Scandinavian 201A or B, Scandinavian 220. Other courses offering readings exclusively in a medieval vernacular may be substituted with the permission of the Graduate Adviser. Medieval versions of other relevant languages (such as Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Old Church Slavonic, etc.) may be accepted in fulfilment of this requirement, again with the permission of the Graduate Adviser.

4. Working knowledge of the material sources of medieval culture. Students must show that they can work directly with the primary material objects of their study. Ordinarily this requirement is met through coursework, or approved specialist training, in the study of medieval manuscripts: e.g. palaeography, diplomatics, or codicology. Students may also demonstrate their mastery of primary material sources through an extended essay making substantial and original use of these skills. When appropriate, and with the consent of the Graduate Adviser, training in allied disciplines making use of primary materials (such as epigraphy or medieval archaeology) may be accepted in fulfilment of this requirement.

5. Field Statement. The Field Statement is a document of 30–50 pages, which situates the major area of interest in relation to Medieval Studies, conceived as an interdisciplinary field. It is not a prospectus setting out the specific plan of research for a dissertation, but a broader contextualizing essay, placing the present state and resources of the student’s home discipline in relation to those other disciplines of medieval studies that bear upon the student’s planned research. This statement will be evaluated by the student’s primary adviser and the Medieval Studies representative to the examination committee (see [6], below). The Field Statement must be approved by both the adviser and examiner at least 30 days prior to the oral qualifying examination. It should thus ordinarily be submitted to the relevant faculty members about six weeks prior to the date of the oral examination.

6. Medieval Studies component of the oral qualifying examination. A representative from the Medieval Studies faculty must serve on the PhD orals examining committee; issues arising from the Field Statement in the broader context of Medieval Studies will constitute the primary focus of the Medieval Studies component of the examination. In the event of a failure on either the Field Statement or the Medieval Studies portion of the qualifying exam, the candidate may revise the Field Statement and/or retake the Medieval Studies portion of the orals in accordance with the policies of the Graduate Division, Policies and Procedures F.2.7.

7. Colloquium. Regular participation in the Medieval Studies Colloquium, and one presentation of dissertation-work in progress to that Colloquium.

For further information about applying to this program, please contact the Graduate Adviser, thornbury [at] berkeley [dot] edu (Professor Emily Thornbury). Appeals concerning the program may be made through the Medieval Studies Graduate Appeals Procedure.