Aug 12, 2020  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Appalachian Studies, M.A.


General Program Information


Graduate School Contact:
Rickie Carter; carterrh@etsu.edu; (423) 439-6165

Department of Appalachian Studies

Department Chair: Ron Roach, Ph.D.
222 Nicks Hall
Box 70556
(423) 439-7494
e-mail: roachr@etsu.edu

Graduate Coordinator: Lee Bidgood, Ph.D.
304C Memorial Hall (Brooks Gym)
Box 70435
(423) 439-9594
e-mail: bidgood@etsu.edu

Faculty: Roy Andrade; Lee Bidgood; Daniel Boner; Rebecca Fletcher; Jane MacMorran; Nate Olson; Ted Olson; Ron Roach; Fred Sauceman; and additional faculty in other academic units who teach Appalachian-related courses.

The Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies is an interdisciplinary graduate degree designed to provide a comprehensive study of the Appalachian region, including its history, environment, culture, and current challenges. The program is designed to meet the needs of three types of students:

  1. Students for whom a graduate degree in the discipline of Appalachian Studies would improve their qualifications for the job market;
  2. Students who are already in the workforce but can profit from and perhaps advance in their careers with deeper knowledge of the region; and
  3. Students who are interested in understanding the region from a variety of historical, cultural, and global perspectives; who will profit from concentrated study and research; and who may plan to enter doctoral programs upon the completion of the degree.

As a broad, interdisciplinary degree, the M.A. in Appalachian Studies is intended to be highly flexible and customizable to fit each student’s educational and career goals. As such, it is a general degree that can prepare students to pursue many paths, whether they lead to the workforce or to further graduate studies. Possible career areas that may be served by this degree include education, local and regional planning, economic development, service organizations, nonprofit organizations, cultural and arts organizations, museums, natural and cultural heritage sites, national and state parks, and health-related fields. 

The department offers financial support in the form of Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Scholarships. Decisions on offers of support are initiated at the end of March for the following academic year. In order to receive full consideration, applicants seeking funding from this department are encouraged to submit all materials by February 15th.

Admission Requirements


The following requirements are in addition to the general admission, retention, and graduation requirements of the School of Graduate Studies:

  • The personal essay (required by the School of Graduate Studies) should address the student’s reasons for choosing an Appalachian Studies program;
  • Acceptable GPA (3.0 on a 4.0 scale preferred);
  • Three letters of recommendation; and
  • A writing sample, such as a paper previously submitted for credit in an undergraduate or graduate course.

Additional Information


A student who completes the Graduate Certificate in Appalachian Studies may transfer all 18 credits into the Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies, with the approval of the APST graduate coordinator. All transfer credit, however, must meet GPA requirements and must be within the six-year matriculation limit.

Appalachian Studies, M.A. Degree Requirements: 33-36 credits


Core Requirements 12 credits
Focus Area (choose one) 9 credits
Thesis or Applied Project 3-6 credits
Advisor Approved Electives 9 credits
TOTAL 33-36 credits

Appalachian Community and Regional Development Focus Area: 9 credits


Choose 9 credits from the following subjects in Appalachian community and regional development, depending on the student’s area of interest and career goals, and approved by the graduate coordinator. At least 3 credits must be in Appalachian Studies courses.

  • Information and Communication (3 credits)

Courses in archival studies, communication, grant writing, journalism, leadership, marketing, museum studies, public history, storytelling, or other related courses approved by the graduate coordinator.

  • Analysis and Society (3 credits)

Courses in current issues in the region, economics, environment, health, population analysis, poverty and homelessness, sociology, sustainability, tourism, or other related courses approved by the graduate coordinator.

  •  Policy and Action (3 credits)

Courses in community engagement, entrepreneurship, international issues, nonprofit or public administration, planning, public policy, regional development, or other related courses approved by the graduate coordinator. 

Appalachian Culture and Heritage Focus Area: 9 credits


Choose 9 credits from the following subjects in Appalachian culture and heritage, depending on the student’s area of interest and career goals, and approved by the graduate coordinator. At least 3 credits must be in Appalachian Studies courses.

  • Appalachian History and Traditions (3 credits)

 Courses in art, folklore, folklife, folk medicine, foodways, history, music, literature, religion, sociology, storytelling, or other related courses approved by the graduate coordinator.

  • Production of Culture (3 credits)

 Courses in applied art, applied music, archival studies, creative writing, digital media, ethnomusicology, film, journalism, or other related courses approved by the graduate coordinator.

  • Heritage and Culture in Contemporary Appalachia (3 credits)

 Courses in arts or heritage administration, community arts development, cultural sustainability, grant writing, heritage tourism, museum studies, non-profit administration, public history, stereotyping, etc.

Thesis Option: 12-15 credits


  • (1-3 credits) (Take for at least 3 credits, up to 6 credits)
  • Advisor Approved Electives from the list below (9 credits)

Non-Thesis Option: 12-15 credits


  • (3 credits) (Take for at least 3 credits, up to 6 credits)
  • Advisor Approved Electives from the list below (9 credits)

Advisor Approved Electives


Students will select electives in consultation with the APST graduate program coordinator. Additional courses, seminars, independent studies, topics/studies courses, and problems courses, including 5956 summer offerings may be counted when the topic is related to Appalachian studies and they are approved by the graduate program coordinator.