Appalachian’s Master of Arts program in Appalachian Studies is an interdisciplinary program offering cross-cultural learning and applied career training through engaged research, internships, outreach and classroom-based programming. It is housed in the Center for Appalachian Studies, a regionally recognized hub of learning on the Appalachian region whose resources include the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection and the peer-reviewed Appalachian Journal.
As a student, you will choose from one of two concentrations:
- Appalachian Culture and Music – Focuses on scholarship and research in the social sciences, humanities, and fine and applied arts, seeking to deepen understanding of the Appalachian socio-cultural and historical experience. Provides instruction and opportunities for scholarship on the varieties of music traditions that intersect in the southern Appalachian region.
- Sustainability in Appalachia – Emphasizes applied research and interdisciplinary course work spanning the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities. It provides a foundation for those students who seek to develop the means for meeting the legitimate needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. For students interested in Appalachian and other highland and rural peoples, as well as other peoples threatened by the results of unsustainable practices and patterns, this course of study provides the background in the search for sustainable solutions.
Course titles and information can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.
Required Entrance Exam: GRE (score must be no more than 5 years old)
Required number of references to specify in the online form: 3
Supplemental Information: Resume (Required upload for application submission); two-page statement on academic and professional goals in chosen concentration and the value of regional studies in the contemporary world (upload on the Additional Information page in the online application)
Basic Conditions for Consideration of Admission: Meeting or exceeding the conditions below does NOT guarantee admission. All applications for a given entry term will be weighed based upon the number of seats available and the quality of the complete application packages. With special permission from the Graduate School, a program may admit a limited number of students with exceptional circumstances who do not meet the graduate school minimums.
Graduate School: 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores from the appropriate admission test(s), OR 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores at the 25th percentile level from the appropriate admission test(s).
Admission to Appalachian Studies: Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of applications are reviewed in comparison to the current applicant pool.
Doctoral and Terminal Degree Programs
Students have gone on to programs at these and other institutions:
- Brown University
- Columbia University
- Emory University
- Harvard University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Princeton University’s Theological Institute
- University of Arkansas
- University of Georgia
- University of Florida
- University of Kentucky
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- University of Virginia School of Law
- University of West Virginia
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- Virginia Tech University
- Appalachian Sustainable Development (VA)
- Appalshop Media (KY)
- Berea College
- Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
- Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture
- Center for Rural Strategies (KY)
- Create West Virginia
- Kerr Lake State Park (NC)
- Mars Hill’s Ramsey Center for Regional Studies
- Montana Department of Conservation and Natural ResourcesNational Trust for Historic Preservation
- North Carolina Folklife Institute
- Ohio University
- Organic Growers School of Asheville
- Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center (VA)
- Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian
- Swannanoa Valley Museum
- Tennessee 10th Judicial District Court
- The Carter Center (GA)
- University of Illinois
- University of Nebraska
- Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Spring: 11/1
- Fall: 7/1 (priority - 3/1)
*See full deadline information below under Application Essentials.
- Students work closely with faculty in a collaborative, inclusive learning environment.
- Teacher training through instruction in pedagogy and graduate teaching opportunities is provided.
- The program offers instruction in documentary film methods and ethnographic field methods.
- Students may choose an internship or thesis option.
- Most courses culminate in a paper that could be presented at professional conferences.
- Appalachian Journal, founded in 1972, is the premier journal for regional scholarship and offers student training in editing.
- The W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection and Special Collections in Belk Library and Information Commons are an unmatched research resource on the Appalachian region.
- This program offers accelerated admission for select Appalachian undergraduate students.
- All graduate programs at Appalachian have small class sizes, providing intimate classroom interaction.
- The School of Graduate Studies offers scholarships, fellowships and assistantships to support eligible, full-time, degree-seeking students.
Method of Delivery
- Community organizer
- County planner
- Folklife interpreter
- Legal council
- Museum director
- News reporter
- Non-profit executive
- Park ranger
- Professional musician
- Program director
- Sustainable agriculture
- University professor