Program Overview and Requirements

The Folklore Program offers a master’s degree in American Studies with a concentration in Folklore or Public Sector Folklore.  The academic folklore concentration prepares students for teaching and researching. The public folklore concentration prepares students for jobs in government, arts administration, and museum management. Both of these emphases allow for interdisciplinary work in English, history, anthropology, sociology, and other fields that may be germane to the student's particular focus.

Students are required to complete a total of 30 credits and a thesis for the Master of Arts degree or the Master of Science degree.   For more information about various options for the thesis, visit the Graduate Program on the English Department webpage.

In order to concentrate in Folklore or Public Sector Folklore, students must take 15 credits (5 classes) in Folklore specifically.  Students are required to take 6700 Folklore Theory and Methods during their first semester and 6720 Folklore Fieldwork during their spring semester.  These classes provide the foundation for the concentration.  In addition, the following courses are taught on rotation:

6610 Seminar in the American West

6620 Native American Studies

6630 Film and Pop Cultures

6710 Space, Place, and Folklore

6730 Public Folklore

6740 Folk Narrative

6750 Fife Conference

6760 Cultural and Historical Museums

6770 Seminar: Folklore and Folklife (this course is repeatable and the topic varies).

Examples of topics seminars include: Legends and the Supernatural, Expressive Culture and Conflict, Foodways, Food and Narrative, Folklore and Work, Medieval Pilgrimage, Italian and Italian-American Folklore, Folklore and Literature, and Folklore and the Internet.

In addition to the above requirements, students selecting the Public Folklore concentration must also complete the following:

6730 Public Folklore

6900 Graduate Internship

Public Folklore students may also take courses from other departments that offer graduate-level courses in areas that public folklorists might need, such as: photography, radio broadcasting, video and film-making, multimedia, writing for the public, grant and proposal writing, administration, budgeting, policy-making and museum skills.