Popular Culture (Archived 2016-17 Graduate Catalog)

Director: Angela Nelson
Graduate Coordinator: Jeremy Wallach (Fall 2016), Kristen Rudisill(Spring 2017)
Address: 245 Shatzel Hall
Phone: 419-372-8886
Email: popc@bgsu.edu
Program Web Page: http://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/cultural-and-critical-studies/popular-culture/graduate-program.html

Degrees Offered
Master of Arts

Program Offered
M.A. in Popular Culture

Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Master's degree, students in the Popular Culture program are expected to be able to:

  • Interpret and critically evaluate specific case studies in diverse cultural and historical contexts using fundamental concepts, major debates, and methods of analysis of the global phenomenon of popular culture with theories of race, class, sexuality, gender, and disability.
  • Produce a research project of publishable quality with a rigorous argument and strong theoretical basis that demonstrates engagement with contemporary scholarly discourse.
  • Develop and communicate (verbally and in writing) clear, persuasive, and sophisticated interpretations of popular culture materials and practices.
  • Evaluate how popular culture shapes and reflects personal and social experiences, diversity in a multicultural society, and American culture’s relationship to global cultures.

Prerequisites to Graduate Work
Admission to the M.A. program requires a minimum 3.0 accumulative GPA and 3.0 GPA in a specified discipline in which at least 20 semester hours of work have been completed. Applicants who hold an undergraduate degree in an interdisciplinary program that includes 20 semester hours of work in a single discipline may be admitted upon the recommendation of the graduate committee.

Admission Procedure
Applicants seeking admission to the M.A. program in Popular Culture should follow the instructions outlined in the Graduate Admission section of this catalog. All application materials should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office.

In addition applicants must also submit the following to the Department of Popular Culture:

  • a Statement of Purpose Essay, 2-to-5 typed pages, that describes your motivations for coming to graduate school, what you hope to achieve in Popular Culture Studies, your plans following the receipt of the Master's Degree, and (if requesting an assistantship) your interests in teaching and other skills that may be useful to the Department
  • three (3) letters of recommendation written within the past year and sent by the recommender directly to the Department of Popular Culture.

The statement of purpose and letters of recommendation should be emailed to popc@bgsu.edu or mailed to:

Popular Culture Graduate Program Office
101 East Hall
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0190.

For full consideration for admission and funding for the following academic year, applications should be submitted by January 14.

Please contact the POPC graduate program secretary by phoning 1-419-372-8886 or email popc@bgsu.edu with any questions about the application process.

Degree Requirements
Master of Arts
The interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in Popular Culture trains scholars in the study of forms of creative expression used in everyday life (including but not limited to mass media products). Students choose their own academic focus to critically examine popular culture among diverse groups within contemporary American society as well as in global and historical contexts. We are especially interested in how these expressive practices convey, challenge, and influence cultural values, social practices, and identities.

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

  • POPC 6750, Popular Culture Theory and Methodology (6 hours);
  • POPC 6600, Folklore and Folklife (3 hours);
  • POPC 6800, International Popular Culture (3 hours);

As well as the following additional courses:

  • Additional Popular Culture Seminars (9 hours);
  • Elective or Independent Study Courses (8 hours);

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 at the beginning of their academic program, as well as that of the required core courses listed above.

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

Plan I: An MA thesis is required for Plan 1. 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 examination described above, each candidate must pass a two-hour oral examination over an area of specialization.

Candidates are to create their own advisory committees, in close consultation with the graduate coordinator, composed of a chair from within the Department and at least one other faculty member from within the Department. An optional third member can be from within or outside the Department.  All members of the committee must have Graduate Faculty status.  In the case of the Plan I-thesis candidates, the committee advises the thesis. In the case of the Plan II-non-thesis candidates, the committee exists to advise, prepare, and evaluate the oral examination over the candidate's area of specialization. Students are expected to have created their committee by no later than the end of the second semester in residence in the program.

Graduate Courses
Please access graduate courses online by clicking the “Browse Course Catalog” button at http://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/courses-and-classes/class-course-information.html . Graduate courses offered by the Department of Popular Culture use the prefix:  POPC.