Department of Popular Culture

Bowling Green State University is the only institution in the nation to have a Department of Popular Culture. We offer a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to earn a bachelor of arts degree with a Popular Culture major and for graduate students to earn a masters degree in Popular Culture. Undergraduates majoring in any field can take approved Popular Culture courses to meet BGSU humanities requirements and can complete a Popular Culture minor or a Folklore minor. We regularly offer both graduate and undergraduate courses in popular music, television, film, literature, and folklore, as well as courses that focus on how to research and analyze popular culture and its influence on society.  

Popular Culture students study those aspects of national and international culture which have the most impact on a majority of the population. The 10 full-time faculty in the department hold doctoral degrees in American Culture, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Ethnic Studies, Folklore, and Women's Studies: we share an interest in bringing these different perspectives to our research and teaching about popular culture. While popular culture may at first appear to be a trivial matter, it turns out to be the site where many of the most important and controversial issues are explored and debated.


Get a Degree in Popular Culture

Training in Popular Culture can prepare students for many careers.


BGSU alumnus named to Team USA Council on Racism and Social Justice

A Bowling Green State University alumnus and We Are One Team (WA1T) founder earned a spot on the inaugural Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice.
Dr. Yannick Kluch a '14, ’18, known for his work as a dedicated advocate for diversity and inclusion in college athletics, was appointed to the 44-member, athlete-led council to serve as a thought leader and diversity and inclusion expert.
The council is a combined effort of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Athletes’ Advisory Council, National Governing Bodies and the U.S. Olympians & Paralympians Association. The purpose of the athlete-led council is to address the rules and systems in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements that create barriers to progress. Dr. Kluch is a 2014 alum of the Popular Culture Master's Program.

Read More

Matt Donahue's The Amsterdam T-Shirt Project has been admitted to the International Ethnographic Film Festival

Matt Donahue, Teaching Professor in the Department of Popular Culture was honored to have his documentary, The Amsterdam T-Shirt Project admitted to the International Ethnographic Film Festival in the International Short Film Category. His is the only entry from America that has been admitted into this festival. 
The festival based out of the Ukraine is one of the only film festivals of its kind and highlights cultures from throughout the world from an ethnographic point of view.
The documentary is a continuation of Donahue's research that includes but is not limited to Motorhead, the heavy metal t-shirt, The Hines Farm Blues Club, art cars, and Amsterdam business signs.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Popular Culture are expected to be able to:

  • Apply critical analysis to the popular culture environment, both in the present and in its various historical manifestations, in order to discuss such matters as how popular culture shapes/reflects our personal and social experiences, how popular culture shapes/reflects diversity in a multicultural society, and how popular culture shapes/reflects American culture's relationship to global culture(s);
  • Explain ways in which the materials of popular culture are shaped by aesthetic, social history, and cultural forces, and how the materials of popular culture influence these forces as well;
  • Describe basic theories and methodologies relevant to popular culture scholarship, and apply those theories and methodologies in research;
  • Demonstrate how diverse aesthetic systems embody the visions and values of different cultural groups;
  • Convey ideas orally and in writing.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The School of Cultural and Critical Studies including Popular Culture underwent Program/Cluster Review during 2021-2022.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Popular Culture program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Popular Culture program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 06/13/2024 02:48PM