Academic Programs

The Center for Appalachian Studies coordinates curriculum, research, and community engagement relating to the Appalachian region. Through course work, collaborative research, and mentoring, students acquire a broad understanding of the Appalachian region and develop applied skill sets that translate academic learning into career preparation and regional service. At the graduate level, the Center creates an interdisciplinary learning environment that encourages students to develop targeted programs of study specific to their individual educational goals. We offer internships and other training opportunities that lead to meaningful careers within and beyond the Appalachian region.

Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies

The Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies offers two interdisciplinary concentrations: 1) Appalachian Culture and Music and 2) Sustainability in Appalachia.

Appalachian Culture Concentration

The Appalachian Culture concentration 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.

Sustainability in Appalachia Concentration

The Sustainability in Appalachia concentration is based on 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.

Graduate Certificate (non-degree) in Appalachian Studies 

The Graduate Certificate (non-degree) program is designed for students, scholars, professionals, and newcomers to the area interested in gaining sophisticated knowledge of the region and of the analyses and interpretations of the region by scholars and writers. This certification will be useful to regional citizens and professionals working in community and regional services, including government, business, travel and tourism, and cultural programming. It is designed to enhance the ability to work in a professional and culturally informed way in addressing local and regional issues; to deepen understanding of and adjustment to the region in which candidates live and work; and to refine skills at conducting research on a wide range of topics. For educators, this program will facilitate the integration of Appalachian studies components in their curricula (elementary, secondary, and higher education).

Graduate Minor in Appalachian Studies

The Graduate Minor in Appalachian studies is available to students enrolled in any graduate program at Appalachian State University. Graduate students in English, history, political science, and other programs find this course of study complementary to their academic interests and career plans.

Undergraduate Minors

We offer two undergraduate minors in Appalachian Studies. For more information, see the programs of study for each minor:

Course Descriptions

Find out how to access graduate and undergraduate Appalachian Studies course descriptions as well as descriptions of courses focusing on Appalachia offered by other departments. 

Scholarships, Fellowships, and Graduate Assistantships

Scholarships, fellowships, and graduate assistantships are available to full-time, on-campus, degree-seeking graduate students only.

Graduate Theses

See more than thirty years of Appalachian Studies students' graduate thesis topics.

Global Curriculum in Appalachian Studies

Mountain-to-mountain pedagogy, scholarship, and exchanges are cornerstones of the Center and its academic programs.

Study Abroad in Wales

Next study abroad program: Summer 2018. This six credit hour course is organized around a month-long internship program in the south Wales village of Ystradgynlais. Students engage with with area community development organizations, local cultural institutions and businesses.


Access course forms needed for independent study, graduate research and masters thesis hours, and internships.