Appalachian Studies: Master of Arts Degree

Program Overview - 2015

Center for Appalachian Studies

Program Director: Dr. Katherine E. Ledford;; 828-262-4089

Concentrations: Appalachian Culture; Appalachian Music: Roots and Influences; Sustainability in Appalachia

Location of instruction: On campus

Downloadable Brochure (pdf)

The Center for Appalachian Studies was established in 1978 to coordinate and promote curriculum offerings, public programs, and research activities on the Appalachian region. Built on the good work of generations of Appalachian scholars, including folklorist Amos Abrams and scholar Cratis Williams, considered the father of Appalachian Studies, the Center works to illuminate and sustain the region's rich history, cultures, communities, and ecology.

Program Highlights

  • The Appalachian Studies faculty also offers a graduate certificate.
  • The Master of Arts Degree in Appalachian Studies offers three interdisciplinary concentrations:
    • Appalachian Culture: focuses on scholarship and research in the social sciences, humanities, and fine and applied arts, seeking to deepen understanding of the Appalachian socio-cultural and historical experience.
    • Sustainability in Appalachia: emphasizes applied research and interdisciplinary course work spanning the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities. It provides a foundation for those students who seek to develop the means for meeting the legitimate needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. For students interested in Appalachian and other highland and rural peoples, as well as other peoples threatened by the results of unsustainable practices and patterns, this course of study provides the background in the search for sustainable solutions.
    • Appalachian Music: Roots & Influences: provides instruction and opportunities for scholarship on the varieties of music traditions that intersect in the southern Appalachian region.
  • Study abroad in Wales: Students have the opportunity for summer study in Wales, engaging in comparative analysis of Wales and Appalachia. Students investigate similarities and differences in coalfield economics, politics, and culures; models of sustainable development responding to the closing of coal mines in Great Britain; and Welsh migration patterns to Appalachia. Students develop an understanding of variation in national, regional, and local responses to socioeconomic change through lectures by Welsh scholars; community-based internships; meetings with political activists and government officials; visits to cultural events and tourist sites; and interaction with Welsh society.

Degree Application Essentials

Required Entrance Exam: GRE (score must be no more than 5 years old)

Required Number of References to specify in the online form: 3

Supplemental Information: Resume (Required upload for application submission); Two page statement on academic and professional goals in chosen concentration and the value of regional studies in the contemporary world (upload on the Additional Information page in the online application)

2015 Deadlines for Application. (Please contact gradadmissions for information about other years.) Priority screening dates are listed in parentheses, if applicable. Applications that are not complete by the priority screening date risk denial of admission due to no seats available.

  • Spring: 11/1
  • Summer Session 1: 4/1 (priority - 3/1)
  • Summer Session 2: 5/1 (priority - 3/1)
  • Fall: 7/1 (priority - 3/1)

Basic Conditions for Consideration of Admission:

Meeting or exceeding the conditions below does NOT guarantee admission. All applications for a given entry term will be weighed based upon the number of seats available and the quality of the complete application packages. With special permission from the Graduate School, a program may admit a limited number of students with exceptional circumstances who do not meet the graduate school minimums.

Graduate School: 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores from the appropriate admission test(s), OR 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores at the 25th percentile level from the appropriate admission test(s).

Admission to Appalachian Studies: Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of applications are reviewed in comparison to the current applicant pool.

Link to 2014 Bulletin Description

Link to Application

Tuition and Fees and Sources of Financial Support

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