Please note: Admissions into the doctoral program in Medieval and Byzantine Studies for academic year 2023-24 are currently on hold. We continue to accept applications for the terminal MA and the certificate programs.

A minimum of 54 hours of graduate credit is required of candidates for the Ph.D. in Medieval and Byzantine Studies. The program incorporates the M.A. curriculum while also requiring an additional 24 credit hours of course work (in the area of specialization and one minor field), comprehensive exams, and a dissertation. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 in order to continue in the program.

Program Description and Requirements 

1. Course Work (54 credit-hours)

a) The M.A. Program in Medieval and Byzantine Studies (30 credit-hours). [Students with master's degrees in other programs or from other accredited institutions can apply to transfer up to 24 hours of graduate credit.]

b) Six approved graduate courses (18 credit hours) in the area of specialization, i.e., in one of the following three categories, selected in one discipline or in a combination of two or more disciplines with the approval of the MBS director and the major faculty adviser:

a. History and Social Structures

b. Thought and Worship

c. Cultural and Artistic Expressions

c) Four approved graduate courses (12 credit hours) in the minor area, with the approval of the MBS director and the minor faculty adviser. The minor area should be a separate area of interest, with only limited overlap with the major area. The minor area can be a traditional discipline (e.g., history, philosophy), a subject area (e.g., Anglo-Saxon England), a methodologically based field (e.g., gender studies), or any other coherent field of study.

2. Language Requirements

a) Demonstrated competence, as determined by examination or by performance in a designated course (grade no lower than 'B') or in a translation project, in Latin, Greek or Arabic, and, in accordance with the student's planned dissertation research, in any necessary medieval vernacular languages.

b) Demonstrated reading knowledge of two modern foreign languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish, or other approved modern language).

3. Comprehensive Examinations

Written comprehensive examinations in (a) the area of specialization and (b) the minor area. Reading lists and preparation for the examination will be developed in collaboration between the student and the major and minor faculty advisers and must be approved by the MBS director. For information on the structure of the exam click here (pdf).

4. Doctoral Dissertation

Doctoral dissertation supervised by the major faculty adviser. The dissertation committee must include faculty from more than one discipline.

Guidelines for preparing a dissertation proposal (pdf).

Note on Advising:

Each student will have three advisers: the MBS director as general adviser, a major faculty advisor in the area of specialization (supervisor of the doctoral dissertation), and a minor faculty advisor in the minor area. Students' choice of courses is subject to the final approval of the director of MBS.