Skip to content

Undergraduate Studies at Marco



Welcome to Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MRST) at the University of Tennessee! Students in our interdisciplinary program study the events and cultures of the rich period stretching from 300 to 1700 C.E. We explore developments in Europe, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean during these centuries from the perspective of many fields: architecture, art history, archaeology, history, literature and languages, music, religious studies, philosophy, and political science. Our curriculum introduces students to these fields and their methods, while allowing them to concentrate on the eras and approaches that excite them most.

In MRST classes, students and faculty together encounter the past as “another country” in order to understand the conditions that have shaped today’s increasingly interconnected world. MRST majors and minors graduate with a multifaceted understanding of the medieval and Renaissance worlds and with skills essential for the job market, including sensitivity to cultural, linguistic, and historical difference and experience making contemporary sense of the texts and contexts of past times.


Our offerings include:

  • Undergraduate major and minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MRST). Any student who wishes to declare an MRST major or minor should meet with the IDP chair (Marco’s Riggsby Director).
  • Course offerings from approximately 40 faculty members across eight affiliated departments
  • Opportunities to submit essays for awards
  • Opportunities to participate in and volunteer for Marco events
  • Use of the Marco Riggsby Library and Reading Room for MRST majors and minors
  • MARCUS (Medieval and Renaissance Club for Undergraduate Students), a club that fosters community among peers
  • A lounge available to MRST students


People who majored in medieval or early modern fields in college include:

J.R.R. Tolkien
Author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Philippa Gregory Author of historical novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Queen
Anthony Ervin Olympic gold medalist and swimmer
Sterling Morrison Guitarist, co-founder of the Velvet Underground
Tony Kushner Playwright and screenwriter, author of Angels in America
Caitlin Doughty Mortician, activist, vlogger
Ashton Carter Physicist, 25th United States Secretary of Defense
Melissa Clark NY Times food writer
Terry Jones Actor and historian, founding member of Monty Python

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.