Learning Goals for Ancient and Medieval Civilizations (AMC)

Learning Goals for AMC

Ancient and Medieval Civilizations (AMC) is a multi-disciplinary academic program drawing upon courses from a variety of departments and skills to access cultures and peoples of the far past. Courses in ancient history, ancient languages, material culture, philosophy and religion help to bring students to an understanding of ancient and medieval civilizations. While most of our courses focus on Europe, we do offer many courses pertinent to the Middle East, Africa and East Asia.

Pursuing a degree in AMC means acquiring fundamental language skills in classical languages (Greek, Latin, Arabic, Persian or Chinese—based on the student’s focus), along with a wide-ranging knowledge of the ancient and medieval history. At every stage, students are led to reflect on the many connections of these times to the modern world, and how the civilizations involved contributed to shape the present day.

To better understand what studying AMC entails, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the core learning goals that motivate the teaching of AMC (below), and to contact the AMC program director with any questions. AMC students should discuss with the director the focus of their major or minor, whether it will be oriented towards the west or east, ancient or medieval, in particular.

The Program’s broad goals can be divided into two categories: conceptual learning goals that delineate the principles of the discipline, and practical learning goals that define important skills that students can expect to develop by taking courses in AMC. 

Conceptual Learning Goals

Students who study AMC at Rutgers-Newark can expect to:

  1. demonstrate substantial expertise in at least one classical language, engage in advanced analysis of ancient texts in the original language, and use the study of the language to better understand their historical, intellectual and material contexts;
  2. form, through the study of the languages and of ancient and medieval history and civilization, a broad and critically informed understanding of major events, concepts, documents, and material artifacts of these civilizations, and of their continuing influence on and connections to the modern world;
  3. produce culturally and historically informed analyses of ancient and medieval ideas, texts and artifacts;

4. appreciate the role of diversity and difference in shaping human experience; and

5. acquire a global perspective through in-depth study of ancient and medieval cultures in their historical contexts, as well as through opportunities to study abroad, especially those given by Rutgers Study Abroad programs, e.g. the Rutgers University Archaeological Field School in Italy, which is operated by faculty from the AMC program.

Practical Learning Goals

Students who study AMC at Rutgers-Newark can expect to:

                    1. acquire necessary analytical, research and thinking skills to read critically;

                    2. learn to communicate effectively in speaking and in writing;

                    3. read, understand and appreciate a variety of literary forms, including primary sources (poetry, speeches, plays, histories), as well as secondary sources written in academic prose;

                    4. construct an original thesis statement and support it with logical evidence using several research databases;

                    5. work independently and conduct independent research; and

                    6. pursue a wide range of careers (as below).

An AMC major or minor is excellent preparation for the pursuit of a wide range of careers in a large number of fields, including, but not limited to, government, law, education, business, journalism, library science, publishing, foreign service, finance, the entertainment industry, museum and preservation work, pharmaceutical sciences, music and the arts, foundations, technology, web design, and labor relations.