Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Popular Culture is an interdisciplinary program designed for students with unique academic interests who are attracted to the idea of studying with faculty from diverse fields such as anthropology, folklore, Asian studies, women’s studies, American studies, ethnic studies, media studies, and ethnomusicology. Students choose their own academic focus within the study of popular culture.


Candidates are required to complete a minimum of 32 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the baccalaureate degree. Students must complete the following coursework requirements:

Popular Culture Core Courses (12 hours)
POPC 6750, Popular Culture Theory and Methodology (6 hours)
POPC 6600, Folklore and Folklife (3 hours)
POPC 6610 International Popular Culture (3 hours)

Popular Culture Seminars (9 hours)

Elective or Independent Study Courses (8 hours)

Research Course (3 hours)
POPC 6990: Plan I Thesis Research
POPC 6910: Plan II Non-Thesis Research


Master's candidates are required to pass a written departmental comprehensive examination in order to complete the requirements for graduation.  Candidates are responsible for mastering the content of a core reading list provided to them in the required core courses.


The MA degree is offered under Plan 1: Thesis Option or Plan II: Non-thesis Option.

Plan I: An MA thesis is required. Up to six semester hours of credit for thesis research (POPC 6990) can be applied toward the degree.

Plan II: In addition to the written comprehensive examination required by the program, each candidate in Plan II must write a project proposal, complete a project, and write a reflection paper describing how their project fits into the scholarship in that area. Up to six semester hours of credit for directed research (POPC 6910) can be applied toward the degree.

Graduate Committee:
Candidates from both Plan I and Plan II select the members of their individual advisory committee in close consultation with the Popular Culture Graduate Coordinator. Each committee includes a chair from within the Department of Popular Culture and at least one other faculty member from within the Department. An optional third member can be from within or outside the Department of Popular Culture. All members of the committee must have Graduate Faculty Status. In the case of the Plan I-thesis candidates, the committee advises and approves the thesis. In the case of the Plan II-non-thesis candidates, the committee advises, approves, and evaluates the project. Students are expected to have created their committee by no later than the end of the second semester in residence in the program.

Updated: 09/29/2020 11:48AM