PhD Certificate

The Certificate in Medieval and Renaissance Studies is granted by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences on the recommendation of the Director of the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Candidates for the certificate declare their candidacy after admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and meet with the Director, who will assign a faculty member from the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies as a certificate advisor (who may be the same as the candidate’s departmental advisor). We recommend that candidates declare their interest as early as possible in their coursework, but a student can be considered for admission at any point in his or her graduate career. Candidates should discuss their programs of study with their certificate advisors each term.

Please note that this is not a standalone certificate. It is only available to those students who are already candidates for the PhD in a relevant Columbia University department.


Either, for those who enter the Graduate School with the B.A. or B.S., the completion of the requirements for the M.A. degree in the candidate’s department; or, for those who enter the Graduate School with an M.A. from another institution or with academic achievements that qualify for two terms of advanced standing, the completion of the requirements for the M.A. or M.Phil. degree in the candidate’s department.

Five courses in Medieval and or Renaissance, amounting to a minimum of 20 credits, taken in at least two departments beyond the student’s home department. Courses may also be counted toward the home department’s requirements, if allowed by the home department (the student should confirm this before proposing a program of study leading to the certificate). One course taken through the Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) may be counted, though not a course in an IUDC department parallel to the student’s home department. Courses at other institutions for which the student has received transfer credit may not be counted. Courses taken for R-credit or Pass/Fail may be counted toward the certificate, only if they are also counted by the home department toward its own requirements. All courses must be approved by the Director.

Achievement of a satisfactory level in written translation in two foreign languages, including one the following: Arabic, Greek (classical or medieval), Hebrew, Latin (classical or medieval). The standard will be that required by the candidate’s department, which must certify completion of the requirement to the Program.

The completion of a research paper with a substantial interdisciplinary component in one of the courses required for the certificate. The student should discuss with the Director the nature of the paper in advance; the interdisciplinary nature of the paper will be evaluated by a second reader (that is, other than the course instructor) appointed by the Director.

Once all requirements have been completed and the certificate form has been approved by the Director, in order to have the certificate listed on the transcript, the student must complete the GSAS form to receive the certificate.