Graduate Certificate in Folklore and Ethnography

This 15-credit graduate certificate program offered at Penn State Harrisburg provides students with skills and practices used in projects and institutions of folklore and ethnography, which include field/folk schools and other educational settings, festivals and arts councils, historical and heritage societies, community and cultural organizations and centers, archives and record management programs, governmental agencies, cultural conservation/sustainability groups, and media production companies. The Folklore and Ethnography certificate is awarded for successful completion of 9 credits of prescribed courses plus 6 credits of electives from an approved list of courses. Students must earn a grade of B or above in each course that counts toward the certificate program.

Admission Requirements

An applicant must hold either a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

A candidate in the certificate program may also become a candidate in the M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies, M.A. in Communications, or M.A. in Humanities if the candidate meets criteria for admission to the Graduate School and to the graduate program; however, successful completion of the certificate neither implies nor guarantees admission to a graduate program at Penn State. Students enrolled in these or other degree programs may apply credits earned toward the certificate as elective credits with program approval. Students enrolled in doctoral degree programs who desire to include the coursework toward the certificate in their programs are normally limited in their choices of electives to 500-level courses. Doctoral students should check with their program advisers on their program requirements. Up to 15 credits of coursework taken in nondegree status can count towards a graduate degree.

GPA Requirement 

Applicants are expected to have 2.75 GPA or above in the last two years of undergraduate work in folklore, anthropology, sociology, American Studies, ethnic studies, history, communications, or other fields related to folklore and ethnography.

Application Process

  • Complete the Graduate School online application, choosing "Certificate Admission" for the application type. Next, select "Harrisburg" as the Campus, "Folklore and Ethnography" as the Certificate, and the semester you choose to begin.
  • Submit copies of your undergraduate transcripts and cover letter describing goals and background/interest in folklore and ethnography to:

    Program Coordinator Graduate Certificate in Folklore and Ethnography
    American Studies Program
    777 West Harrisburg Pike
    Middletown, PA 17057 - 4898

    International applicants have additional requirements

List of Courses Included in the Certificate

PRESCRIBED COURSES (AM ST)

  • AM ST 530 TOPICS IN AMERICAN FOLKLORE (3)
  • AM ST 531 MATERIAL CULTURE AND FOLKLIFE (3)
  • AM ST 540 ETHNOGRAPHY AND SOCIETY (3)

In addition to the 9 credits of prescribed coursework, students must select 6 credits from the following list of elective courses.

  • AM ST 422 (RL ST 422) RELIGION AND AMERICAN CULTURE (3 PER SEMESTER, MAXIMUM OF 6)
  • AM ST 439 AMERICAN REGIONAL CULTURES (3-6)
  • AM ST 448 (ANTH 448) ETHNOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED STATES (3)
  • AM ST 480 MUSEUM STUDIES (3)
  • AM ST 481 HISTORIC PRESERVATION (3)
  • AM ST 482 PUBLIC HERITAGE (3)
  • AM ST 483 ORAL HISTORY (3)
  • AM ST 493 (ENGL 493) THE FOLKTALE IN AMERICAN LITERATURE (3)
  • AM ST 550 SEMINAR IN PUBLIC HERITAGE (3)
  • AM ST 551 SEMINAR IN LOCAL AND REGIONAL STUDIES (3)
  • AM ST 592 FIELD EXPERIENCE IN AMERICAN STUDIES (3)
  • AM ST 595 INTERNSHIP (1-12)

Substitution of topical courses and seminars with variable content related to folklore and ethnography for elective credits is possible with approval in advance from the certificate coordinator.


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