"Medieval Studies" v. "History"

<p>My field of study in History is a bit of an odd one chronologically--it tends to fall neatly between most department's delineations of "Medieval" and "Early Modern" (c. 1450-c. 1550) although I am quite interested in everything earlier as well. With this line of thought I've been describing myself as a "Medievalist" and have consequently been exploring Medieval Studies programs.</p>

<p>I am wondering what the pros and cons of each are. Although my interests are mostly just in History, I have a fair amount of interest in art and music history as well (and one of my major undergrad projects is in fact in part music history) so the interdisciplinary nature of Medieval Studies may be appropriate. </p>

<p>Eventually, I want to be a professor. So my questions are as follows:</p>

<p>If I get an MA/MSt in Medieval Studies will this harm my chances of getting into a History PhD program? What are the pros and cons of each? With my interests (if anyone is historically minded) am I even one or the other?</p>

<p>Medievalists, like Americanists, have long tended to be interdisciplinary. A Medieval Studies undergraduate degree is fine for applying for history PhD programs. In fact it's fairly common for people to apply to PhD programs in humanities fields that are not their major (i.e., philosophy majors deciding to go to grad school in English). What matters is not what your official major is but that you have the appropriate background to do well in grad school. So if you go the medieval studies route, be sure to take a lot of history courses, and prepare carefully for any Subject Test you will need to take in the area. It would be a good idea to write an honors thesis on s historical topic a historical one, choosing a historian as your thesis advisor. Then you will have a letter of rec and a writing sample in the "target field."</p>

<p>Sorry, not entirely sure I was clear--I am getting a BA in History, considering an MA in Medieval Studies, and wondeirng about a PhD in History. But thank you anyway as I'm sure the information translates across the levels. :)</p>

<p>No it's fine. I have a BA in History as well. I have a MA in interdisciplinary studies and other students with this degree has gained successful admissions to competitive history programs. It's all about your courses and writing sample that will demonstrate that you can be a good historian. An interdisciplinary program is also a good way to be SURE that history PhD is for you, not musicology or something like that.</p>