VIDEO: What is the Medieval Studies Major?

Author: Medieval Institute

"There are so many questions you can ask in Medieval Studies," says Maria Keller. She and Ryan Richmond, both members of the Class of 2022 and Medieval Studies majors, are featured in a new video produced by the College of Arts and Letters. In this video, Keller and Richmond discussed the Medieval Studies major and reflected enthusiastically on their experience with the Medieval Institute as undergraduates. 

Both students appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of Medieval Studies. Keller noted that the Medieval Studies major allowed her to study across disciplines, pursuing many of her intellectual interests at once. As a Medieval Studies major, she says, "you can talk to people History, English, Philosophy, and Theology." In the Middle Ages, she continued, "there is so much growth and development, for example, the development of gothic architecture, book illumination, and different literary styles." Richmond says that he was grateful to "holistic approach" that the Medieval Institute takes to thousand-year period of the Middle Ages, which allowed him to study many different subjects within the same major. This interdisciplinary approach allows students to pursue life's biggest questions, "questions of love, religion, nature, and the world," as they explore, for example, Latin paleography, neoplatonism, the history of Byzantine Empire, ancient and medieval philosophy, and more.

Richmond highlighted how the Medieval Institute makes Medieval Studies at Notre Dame unique thanks to the many resources that the Institute provides. "You can't just go to any college and expect to look at an eleventh-century manuscript in the library whenever you want. But at Notre Dame, I can do that!"

Finally, the students noted how studying the Middle Ages builds crucial skills such as critical thinking, thorough analysis, careful reading, and clear writing. These are skills "that you need to learn," says Richmond, "so why not have fun doing it?" Keller agreed that the skills that one builds studying Medieval Studies can serve as preparation for a wide variety of career paths. "MI students can do anything: graduate school, law, investment banking, non-profit work... You can go anywhere with Medieval Studies!"

"It is really just a fantastic program!" concluded Richmond.

Learn more about the major or minor in Medieval Studies, and contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies for more information at