Jul 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Shepherd University Catalog 
2020-2021 Shepherd University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Appalachian Studies, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies, an interdisciplinary masters program with 30-33 required total hours*, is one of three such degrees in the region and is specifically designed for community members who fit into the following categories:

  1. Students for whom a graduate degree in an interdisciplinary Appalachian Studies curriculum would improve their qualifications for the job market and in the region;
  2. Students who are already in the workforce in education, politics, local and regional planning, economic development, business, recreation and hospitality, service organizations, leisure, or the parks service, cultural and arts organizations, and health related administrative careers, whose careers will profit from a deeper knowledge and understanding of the region; and
  3. Students who are interested in understanding the region from a variety of historical, cultural, and global perspectives, and whose knowledge base will be enhanced through study and research of the region.

The Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies and the Graduate Certificate in Appalachian Studies are designed as complementary graduate programs, so that a student who completes the Graduate Certificate in Appalachian Studies may apply all 15 hours toward completion of the Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies.

Admissions Requirements

Successful completion of university Graduate Admissions  requirements.

Service Learning

  Every candidate for the MA in Appalachian Studies must engage in some form of sustained community service; this service learning component can be met through

  1. selecting a local or campus community project (Alternative Spring Break, for example);
  2. engagement in the university or greater community through the APST 576  - Practicum;
  3. working in the community through the APST 580  - Internship (a variety of internships are available including working during the legislative session at the State Capitol as a political intern or through some other approved internship); or
  4. participating in the study abroad semester program which is structured to expand experiences and outlook about the region.

The service project or study abroad experience must be approved by the Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities (hereafter, “the Director”).

For further information:

Dr. S. Bailey Shurbutt, Director
Shepherd University Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities

304-876-3119 (messages)
304-876-5207 (office)


Curriculum for a Master of Arts, Appalachian Studies

Total Hours Required, 30-33 Hours:

Discipline Core, 12 Hours:

Concentration, 9 Hours:

The student may select 9 hours from one of the following concentrations:


** APST 500  - The Seminar in Appalachian Studies, is repeatable up to 6 hours credit, with approval of the Director.

***Elective Substitutions: As part of the Celtic Roots Global Appalachia Program, a semester of study abroad is possible, at universities in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, or at an approved institution where Shepherd University has exchange agreements. The semester abroad curricular plan may substitute for the 9 hour elective requirement in the program, with approval of the Director of Appalachian Studies Center. Likewise, a 9 hour approved internship may suffice for the elective requirement.

Shepherd’s partnership with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) enables students who have completed the first module of the MA in Appalachian Studies (that is, the APST Graduate Certificate) to use their study abroad at UWS in Ayr or Paisley (Glasgow), Scotland, to suffice for all required Shepherd MA electives, and the semester abroad will enable them also to complete the UWS MA in Creative Media Practice, which uses the APST Graduate Certificate as the first module of the UWS MA.  In effect, a study abroad semester can yield two MA degrees, one from Shepherd University and one from the University of the West of Scotland in this unique dual degree partnership.

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