Medieval Studies

Program Overview

The Centre for Medieval Studies provides interdepartmental programs in the medieval period, leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. Students are expected to cross the limits of traditional subjects, and research is especially encouraged in often neglected boundary areas between traditional departments.

The centre offers its students training in basic skills and tools in order to read the materials remaining from the medieval past and to explore them with learning and imagination. All students entering the centre are asked to improve their proficiency in Latin before registration, since there are Medieval Latin requirements for all degrees. Examinations in Medieval Latin are set at the beginning of the Fall session and at the end of the Spring session. All incoming students must take the Level One Latin examination at the beginning of the Fall session for placement purposes.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MA, PhD:

Dec-18-2020

MA, PhD:

Dec-18-2020

Supporting documents deadline MA, PhD:

Jan-4-2021

MA, PhD:

Jan-4-2021

Minimum admission average MA:

B+

PhD:

A-

MA:

B+

PhD:

A-

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

Yes

PhD:

Yes

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? PhD:

After

PhD:

After

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? PhD:

No

PhD:

No

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? PhD:

Applicant

PhD:

Applicant

Program length (full-time only) MA:

3 sessions full-time one-year

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry

MA:

3 sessions full-time one-year

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry


Master of Arts

Program Description

Students may be admitted to a one-year MA program as full-time or part-time.

Students may obtain an MA in Medieval Studies by coursework or by a combination of coursework plus thesis.

 

MA Program (Coursework Option)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Centre for Medieval Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with an average grade of at least a B+ in previous courses. Coursework in the medieval period must have formed part of the program.

  • Applicants are required to have taken at least one full-year Latin introductory course with a grade of at least B+ or equivalent.

  • Applicants for the MA degree, full-time and part-time, must:

    • ​​​Follow application instructions on the centre's website and

    • Complete forms in which they state the reasons for undertaking graduate studies in the medieval area and their qualifications for applying to do so.

Program Requirements

  • MA students must pass the Level One Medieval Latin examination upon arrival or else attain credit in MST 1000Y (1.0 full-course equivalent [FCE]) in the first year of enrolment in the MA program.

  • For the coursework option, students:

    • Who pass the Level One Latin examination upon arrival must successfully complete 3.0 FCEs.

    • Who do not pass the Level One Latin examination on arrival must successfully complete 4.0 FCEs (including MST 1000Y).

  • In the MA program, course training in Latin is given at two​ levels. All students are expected to arrive with knowledge equivalent to at least a first-year university course in Latin language. MST 1000Y Medieval Latin I is the MA-level course. While this course is preparatory to the departmental Level One Latin examination, a pass in the course does not guarantee a pass of the departmental examination at the corresponding level. Advanced seminars are open to those MA students who have achieved a pass of the Level Two Latin examination.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

 

MA Program (Coursework-Plus-Thesis Option)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Centre for Medieval Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with an average grade of at least a B+ in previous courses. Coursework in the medieval period must have formed part of the program.

  • Applicants are required to have taken at least one full-year Latin introductory course with a grade of at least B+ or equivalent.

  • Applicants for the MA degree, full-time and part-time, must:

    • Follow application instructions on the department's website.

    • Complete forms in which they state the reasons for undertaking graduate studies in the medieval area and their qualifications for applying to do so.

Program Requirements

  • MA students must pass the Level One Medieval Latin examination upon arrival or else attain credit in MST 1000Y (1.0 FCE) in Year 1 of the MA program.

  • For the coursework-plus-thesis option, students must successfully complete:

    • Coursework: 3.0 FCEs or 2.0 FCEs plus a pass at the Level One Latin examination upon arrival in the program.

    • A thesis. An MA thesis must be on a topic approved by the Centre for Medieval Studies. The topic must be submitted to the centre by November 30 of the MA year.

  • In the MA program, course training in Latin is given at two levels. All students are expected to arrive with knowledge equivalent to at least a first-year university course in Latin language. MST 1000Y Medieval Latin I is the MA-level course. While this course is preparatory to the departmental Level One Latin examination, a pass in the course does not guarantee a pass of the departmental examination at the corresponding level. Advanced seminars are open to those MA students who have achieved a pass of the Level Two Latin examination.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

​Doctor of Philosophy​​

Program Description

The PhD is offered only on a full-time basis. Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of a master’s degree in medieval studies or a related field; or 2) direct entry after completing an appropriate bachelor’s degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Centre for Medieval Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants enter with a master's degree in medieval studies or a related field from a recognized university with an average grade of at least A– in the applicant's overall program. Students in the Centre for Medieval Studies' MA program must apply formally for admission to the PhD program on the same basis as all other applicants.

  • All applicants must:

    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​Follow the application instructions on the centre's website.

    • Complete the forms in which they state the reasons for undertaking graduate studies in the medieval area and their qualifications for applying to do so.

    • Pass the Level One Latin examination before they may register in the PhD program.

Program Requirements

  • During Years 1 and 2, students must take a minimum of 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs), i.e., 2.0 FCEs in a major field and 1.0 FCE in a minor field. In view of the centre's interdepartmental nature, some of these courses on the Middle Ages can be taken in other departments, with the approval of the PhD Coordinator. MST 1001Y may not be counted towards the 1.0 FCE minor field requirements or included in the 3.0 FCEs minimum for the degree; but it must be taken in addition to the 3.0 FCEs minimum by all those who do not pass the Level Two Latin examination right before or upon arrival in the program. In addition to the 3.0 FCEs minimum, MST 1003H Professional Development for Medieval Studies PhDs (Credit /No Credit) must be taken by all students over the course of the first three years of registration.

  • In​ the PhD program, course training in Latin is given at two levels. MST 1001Y Medieval Latin II is the PhD-level course. While this course is preparatory to the departmental Level Two Latin examination, a pass in the course does not guarantee a pass of the departmental examination at the corresponding level. Advanced seminars are open to those with either prior credit in MST 1001Y or else a pass of the Level Two Latin examination. These seminars thus serve both advanced students of medieval Latin as well as those who have passed MST 1001Y but require further training in order​ to achieve the Level Two Latin examination pass.

  • By the end of the Fall session of Year 2, students should have a full Advisory Committee, consisting of a supervisor and two other members. The Advisory Committee must be formally approved by the PhD coordinator. During the Spring session of the same academic year, students should develop the Special Field Proposal in consultation with the Advisory Committee. The proposal should be submitted between the end of the Spring session of Year 2 and the beginning of the Fall session of Year 3. The proposal must be prepared according to the guidelines of the Centre for Medieval Studies. It must be signed by all members of the Advisory Committee and submitted to the centre for approval by the centre's Executive Committee at least two months prior to the Special Field Examination.

  • Students must pass the Level Two Latin examination and the centre's examinations in the French and German languages before moving on to the Special Field Examination. In exceptional cases, a student may petition to replace one of the modern languages (French and German) with another language in their area of research. A written request, with a signed confirmation of support for the petition from the supervisor, must be submitted as early as possible, and no later than the end of the Fall session of Year 2 for consideration by the centre’s Executive Committee. In the case of a successful petition, the student will be expected to take the exam no later than the next examination date. Such substitute examinations will be offered no more than two times per year (April and September). Failure to pass all the language exams by the end of Year 3 leads to an automatic failure of the Special Field Examination and thus to termination from the program.

  • The purpose of the Special Field Examination is to demonstrate both the student's scholarly expertise in the particular area of doctoral dissertation and a broader academic competence. The Special Field Examination has two components: a statement paper and an oral examination. The statement paper is normally five to seven pages (approximately 1,500-2,000 words) and must be submitted to the members of the Advisory Committee and the centre two weeks before the oral examination takes place. The examination is a two-hour-long oral exam. The Special Field Examination is graded on a pass/fail basis. The Advisory Committee, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the centre, has the discretion to determine if a student may retake the Special Field Examination. Only one retake is permitted and must take place within two months of the first exam. Students who do not pass the Special Field Examination before the beginning of Year 4 will be recommended to SGS for termination of registration.

  • After a successful Special Field Examination, i.e., usually during the Spring session of Year 3, students should develop and submit a PhD dissertation proposal. This outline of the student's proposed doctoral dissertation should be worked out by the student in close consultation with the supervisor and the Advisory Committee. The complete PhD dissertation proposal must be prepared according to the guidelines of the Centre for Medieval Studies. The proposal must be signed by all members of the student's Advisory Committee and submitted to the centre for approval by the Executive Committee. The candidate will be required to defend the dissertation at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • It is possible to complete a PhD in Medieval Studies in four years, but some students, depending on their background preparation, find that it takes longer than four years. Students intending to work in an area of medieval studies that requires the acquisition of one or more extra languages may find that it is not possible to complete a doctorate within four years.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Centre for Medieval Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants enter with an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with an average grade of at least A– in the applicant's overall program. Coursework in the medieval period must have formed part of the program

  • All applicants must:

    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​Follow the application instructions on the centre's website.

    • Complete the forms in which they state the reasons for undertaking graduate studies in the medieval area and their qualifications for applying to do so.

    • Pass the Level One Latin examination before they may register in the PhD program.

Program Requirements

  • During Years 1, 2, and 3, students must take a minimum of 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs), including 2.0 FCEs in a major field and 1.0 FCE in a minor field. In view of the centre's interdepartmental nature, some of these courses on the Middle Ages can be taken in other departments, with the approval of the PhD Coordinator. MST 1001Y may not be counted towards the 1.0 FCE minor field requirements or included in the 5.0 FCEs minimum for the degree, but it must be taken in addition to the 5.0 FCEs minimum by all those who do not pass the Level Two Latin examination right before or upon arrival in the program. In addition to the 5.0 FCEs minimum, MST 1003H Professional Development for Medieval Studies PhDs (Credit /No Credit) must be taken by all students over the course of the first three years of registration.

  • In​ the PhD program, course training in Latin is given at two levels. MST 1001Y Medieval Latin II is the PhD-level course. While this course is preparatory to the departmental Level Two Latin examination, a pass in the course does not guarantee a pass of the departmental examination at the corresponding level. Advanced seminars are open to those with either prior credit in MST 1001Y or else a pass of the Level Two Latin examination. These seminars thus serve both advanced students of medieval Latin as well as those who have passed MST 1001Y but require further training in order​ to achieve the Level Two Latin examination pass.

  • By the end of the Fall session of Year 3, students should have a full Advisory Committee, consisting of a supervisor and two other members. The Advisory Committee must be formally approved by the PhD coordinator. During the Spring session of the same academic year, students should develop the Special Field Proposal in consultation with the Advisory Committee. The proposal should be submitted between the end of the Spring session of Year 3 and the beginning of the Fall session of Year 4. The proposal must be prepared according to the guidelines of the Centre for Medieval Studies. It must be signed by all members of the Advisory Committee and submitted to the centre for approval by the centre's Executive Committee at least two months prior to the Special Field Examination.

  • Students must pass the Level Two Latin examination and the centre's examinations in the French and German languages before moving on to the Special Field Examination. In exceptional cases, a student may petition to replace one of the modern languages (French and German) with another language in their area of research. A written request, with a signed confirmation of support for the petition from the supervisor, must be submitted as early as possible, and no later than the end of the Fall session of Year 2 for consideration by the centre’s Executive Committee. In the case of a successful petition, the student will be expected to take the exam no later than the next examination date. Such substitute examinations will be offered no more than two times per year (April and September). Failure to pass all the language exams by the end of the Spring session of Year 4 leads to an automatic failure of the Special Field Examination and thus to termination from the program.

  • The purpose of the Special Field Examination is to demonstrate both the student's scholarly expertise in the particular area of doctoral dissertation and a broader academic competence. The Special Field Examination has two components: a statement paper and an oral examination. The statement paper is normally five to seven pages (approximately 1,500-2,000 words) and must be submitted to the members of the Advisory Committee and the centre two weeks before the oral examination takes place. The examination is a two-hour-long oral exam. The Special Field Examination is graded on a pass/fail basis. The Advisory Committee, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the centre, has the discretion to determine if a student may retake the Special Field Examination. Only one retake is permitted and must take place within two months of the first exam. Students who do not pass the Special Field Examination before the beginning of Year 5 will be recommended to SGS for termination of registration.

  • After a successful Special Field Examination, i.e., usually during the Spring session of Year 4, students should develop and submit a PhD dissertation proposal. This outline of the student's proposed doctoral dissertation should be worked out by the student in close consultation with the supervisor and the Advisory Committee. The complete PhD dissertation proposal must be prepared according to the guidelines of the Centre for Medieval Studies. The proposal must be signed by all members of the student's Advisory Committee and submitted to the centre for approval by the Executive Committee. The candidate will be required to defend the dissertation at the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • It is possible to complete a direct-entry PhD in Medieval Studies in five years but some students, depending on their background preparation, find that it takes longer than five years. Students intending to work in an area of medieval studies that requires the acquisition of one or more extra languages may find that it is not possible to complete a doctorate within five years.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

Tristan Sharp

“U of T definitely opens a lot of doors.”

Tristan Sharp
Alumnus, PhD (2013), Medieval Studies
Full Profile