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Graduate Certificate and Interdisciplinary Specialization Programs

Admission •  Process •  Program Requirements •  Learning Objectives •  Graduation •  Forms •  

Download Graduate Program Booklet

Graduate students in CMRS affiliate departments have two ways to receive recognition through the Center for their interdisciplinary work: the CMRS Interdisciplinary Specialization or CMRS Graduate Certificate. Students will work together with the associate director and their advisor to determine an individual curriculum that suits their academic interests and needs. To enroll, please fill out the appropriate application form below and contact our Associate Director, Jonathan Combs-Schilling (combs-schilling.1@osu.edu).

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to and enrollment in a graduate degree program in an affiliated department
  • Completion of one term of course work at Ohio State
  • Good standing in home department and Graduate School with cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Consistent, adequate progress toward home degree, as determined by the home department
  • Presentation to CMRS of a plan of course-work that meets the program requirements outlined above
  • Permission of departmental adviser to undertake program via completion of completion of online application (See below for details).



  1. In conjunction with their advisor, graduate students should determine the appropriateness of pursuing a graduate interdisciplinary specialization or graduate minor and how best to incorporate it into their program of study.
  2. Graduate students must complete and submit a Minor and Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization form at GRADFORMS.OSU.EDU. The form serves as the application to enroll. Once submitted, the form is electronically directed to the chair/coordinator of the GIS or graduate minor  program for review. The student’s advisor also receives an e-mail notice that the form was submitted.
  3. If the student is accepted into the program, the chair of the GIS or minor program approves the electronic program form. This action will route the form to the Graduate School.   
  4. Once the Graduate School approves the request, the student will receive a confirmation e-mail.
  5. The student must adhere to the curriculum of the GIS or graduate minor program as indicated on the appropriate program form. If changes in the approved curriculum are necessary, the  student must have the change approved by the GIS/minor program, who in turn will directly notify the Graduate School. Departures from the approved GIS or graduate minor program could result in the specialization not appearing on the student's transcript.
  6. Upon completion of the GIS or graduate minor program, the student must go back into GRADFORMS.OSU.EDU to complete the GIS/minor transcript designation form for final review. Once approved by both the GIS/minor program and the Graduate School, the designation will be posted to the student’s academic record.

Questions may be directed to Graduation Services, at (614) 292-6031.

Program Requirements


CMRS Graduate Certificate:

  • 30 units* of graduate-level work
  • 9 units in your home department that may count doubly toward your degree program
  • 15 units from approved** affiliate-department courses that do not already count toward your degree program
  • 3 units MEDREN 5610 Manuscript Studies or 5611 History of the Book Studies
  • 3 units MEDREN 7899 (see below)
  • Language proficiency (see below)

CMRS Interdisciplinary Specialization

  • 14 units* of graduate-level work
  • 3 units in your home department that may count doubly toward your degree program
  • 6 units from two or more approved** affiliate-department courses that do not already count toward your degree program
  • 3 units MEDREN 5610 Manuscript Studies or 5611 History of the Book Studies
  • 2 units MEDREN 7899 (see below)
  • Language proficiency (see below)

MEDREN 7899, Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium

1 credit hour per semester for attending CMRS lectures, faculty colloquia and subsequent discussions. This will amount to: 5 (1-hour+) lectures by visiting professors and at least 1 internal lecture and subsequent discussion (total 3 hours per event); at least one lunch with visiting faculty member (2 hours); active involvement with MRGSA and its activities; and meetings with the Center director (one hour once per term). With permission of the Director other professional activities (such as attendance at appropriate conferences, on or off campus) may be substituted. Most CMRS Lectures and Faculty Colloquia begin at 4:00pm on Fridays. Updated Autumn 2014.

Language Proficiency

Students pursuing either program must demonstrate proficiency in Latin or another research language approved by both home department and CMRS. This may be demonstrated by two courses above the 1103/ introductory level. No credit hours taken to achieve language proficiency (1101-1103 or equivalent) will count toward program requirements. Certain approved advanced language courses (such as MEDREN 5631) may be counted towards courses outside student’s major (requirement 2).

Learning Objectives

The CMRS graduate programs recognize the considerable interdisciplinary preparation demanded of world-class medievalists and early modernists.

  1. Disciplinary preparation: Students explore the sources and methods of analysis of medieval or early modern texts and objects of their own departments.
  2. Interdisciplinary preparation: Students explore the sources and methods of analysis of texts and objects of one or more disciplines outside their own.
  3. Methodological preparation: Students gain skills in analyzing and interpreting historical objects, in particular in codicology (the study of books as physical objects) and paleography (the reading of historical handwriting).
  4. Linguistic preparation: Students achieve a level of proficiency in a transnational scholarly language appropriate to the student’s program of study (usually Latin but other languages are possible), enabling them to study primary texts and objects directly, and enhancing their research potential and breadth of knowledge of the culture and modes of expression of the periods.
  5. Professional preparation: Students gain professional experience by participating in the scholarly activity of the Center: the annual lecture series, discussion groups with visiting professors, film series, and internal colloquia.


Program requirements must be completed while you are enrolled in a graduate degree program in a CMRS affiliate department. Credits may be earned at any time during an M.A. to Ph.D. program. You can earn EITHER the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization OR, if your studies go beyond that, the Graduate Certificate. Students cannot earn both. Only grades of "A" through "C-" may be counted toward the completion of the graduate credit-hour requirement. A minimum of 50 percent of the hours counted toward the credit-hour requirement for the certificate must be unique to the certificate and cannot be used for dual credit. Please contact us prior to graduation to complete the appropriate paperwork, preferably when you first decide to embark upon the program. All paperwork must be filed with the Graduate School before the application to graduate deadline, which is the third Friday of the semester of graduation. Please consult the Graduate School Handbook for more information.



All forms are now available and to be completed and filed via the gradforms website except the internal CMRS Graduate Certificate application form (linked below).

Graduate Certificate Application Form [pdf]


* To view a general list of approved interdepartmental courses please refer to our Master List of Approved Medieval & Renaissance Courses. To view courses for the current year please see the 'Courses' page of our website


[pdf] - Some links on this page are to .pdf files.  If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact cmrs@osu.edu . PDF files require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open them. If you do not have Reader, you may use the following link to Adobe to download it for free at: Adobe Acrobat Reader.