Graduate Catalog 2003-2004
The Master of Arts degree in Popular Culture is interdisciplinary in nature and is promoted through the operational and research programs of the Bowling Green Center for Popular Culture Studies and the Department of Popular Culture. For working purposes at the Center and in the Department, "popular culture" is defined as the part of culture which is not narrowly elitist or aimed at special audiences, and which is generally (but not necessarily) disseminated via the mass media.
The interdisciplinary program is designed to train scholars in the objective analysis of that part of a culture, both past and present, which has a distinctly popular base of appeal. The program draws upon the curricula of programs in American culture studies, art, economics, English, geography, foreign languages, history, music, philosophy, political science, sociology, telecommunication, and women’s studies, as well as graduate courses in the Department of Popular Culture.
The Department of Popular Culture has outstanding library and resource support for the graduate program. In 1969, the University established the Popular Culture Library, a non-circulating research library that contains more than 500,000 items from popular novels to television scripts. In addition, the Sound Recordings Archives contains the finest and largest collections of recorded popular music in the United States. Bowling Green State University is the national headquarters for the study of popular culture and the publication of articles and books on popular culture topics.
Popular culture may also be pursued as a specialization through the American culture studies Ph.D. program.
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.
Applicants seeking admission to the M.A. program in popular culture should follow the instructions outlined in the "Graduate Admission" section of this catalog.
Master of Arts
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:
(1) POPC 675, Popular Culture Theory and Methodology;
(2) POPC 660, Folklore and Folklife;
(3) three graduate seminars in popular culture; and
(4) one departmental course in international popular culture.
Candidates are responsible for mastering the content of a core reading list provided to them at the beginning of their academic program. Students are required to complete a general three-question written departmental examination over the core reading list and the required core courses listed above.
The M.A. degree is offered under Plan I-thesis option or Plan II-non-thesis option. The research track outlined below is only offered under Plan I-thesis option.
Plan I: Up to six semester hours of thesis research credit 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 at least one member from outside the Department of Popular Culture and no more than two members from within the Department. 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.