Master’s students complete ten courses (30 hours) over the course of four semesters:

  • FOLK 850: Approaches to Folklore Theory
  • FOLK 860: The Art of Ethnography
  • Three courses offered by Folklore core faculty
  • Three other courses chosen by the student in consultation with his or her adviser
  • FOLK 993: Two semesters of MA thesis with the thesis committee chair

Students pursuing an MA must demonstrate moderate reading proficiency in a language other than English. The final requirements for the M.A. are a Critical Literature Review, in which the student articulates a synthetic conceptualization of the field of Folklore and his/her emerging place in it, and an original thesis based on fieldwork and/or library research. In developing a thesis topic, students are encouraged to exercise creative freedom and follow their passions; recent theses have explored topics ranging from the the collage art of a Cuban cigar roller to the experience of low-riding in a multi-ethnic car club to the cultural and historical significance of pimento cheese. Working closely with a thesis adviser (thesis committee chair) and two readers (thesis committee members), students ideally develop the idea for their thesis toward the end of the first year of study, do most of the field research during the summer, present a proposal and bibliography in the Fall of the second year, and complete and defend the thesis in the Spring of the second year.

Below you may consult the the Folklore MA Timeline and Requirements for a summary of degree requirements and the timing of steps in progress toward the degree.