CMS Goals and Objectives


We aim to give all students the ability to draw upon their understanding of ancient and medieval worlds so that upon graduation they are able:

  • to develop the intellectual autonomy and authority to assert the relevance of the past and thereby take a critical view of the present
  • to become a citizen who can place present political, social and cultural circumstances and productions in a historical trajectory and avoid “presentism”
  • to embrace the engagement with and reflection upon the pasts and the present
  • to enter a PhD graduate program or an MAT program in their area of study

We aim to give all students, regardless of their area of interest within the program:

  • reading knowledge of a classical or medieval/pre-modern language
  • an understanding of the major philosophical, artistic, literary, religious, political and/or social contours of one or more historical societies from 1200 BCE to 1485 CE
  • an understanding of how this particular society has exerted an influence on subsequent societies


We aim to give all students critical and analytical skills:

  • to identify theses, arguments, evidence, opinions and distinguish among these in the primary and secondary sources they encounter
  • to evaluate the reliability and validity of sources from Aristotle to “wikipedia”
  • to understand the aesthetic, political, social, and intellectual claims and aspects of their own and others’ writings
  • to recognize and understand interpretative communities within the ancient and medieval worlds they study and the modern world in which they live
  • to identify and understand the systems, broadly defined, that organize knowledge of the past and present
  • to form ideas and lay out a persuasive argument in writing for a specified audience
  • to claim ownership and responsibility for their own arguments and views