Cultural Studies Program


Master of Arts (M.A.) in Cultural Studies


Course Requirements

Students are required to complete 40 units of graduate coursework, including three 300-level courses, a writing course, and a research methods course. The remainder of the units are completed in courses offered by the Cultural Studies Department or other departments at CGU and/or approved courses taught by the faculty of The Claremont Colleges. Students are expected to maintain a GPA of at least 3.3 (B+) in their coursework.

300-Level Courses

The Cultural Studies Department offers a number of courses, each assigned a 300-level course number, which are designed to introduce students to the foundational texts, writers, schools of thought, and disciplinary questions that make up the field of Cultural Studies. These courses are offered by all the faculty members in the Cultural Studies Department on a rotating basis, and at least one of these courses will be offered every semester. All students are required to take three (3) of these courses during their coursework. Two of them must be completed during their first year of full-time study.

Writing Course

"Advanced Writing Workshop: MA Thesis, Dissertation Proposal and Publishing” is a course that is open to students at every level of the program, but it is required for all M.A. students. M.A. students must take this course only after they have completed 24 units of coursework. It is recommended for them to take it in the Fall semester of their final year of coursework. Students may take the course to help them complete their final M.A. paper, their dissertation proposal, a chapter of their dissertation or an article for publication. Students should generally consider bringing one major project to complete during the course. The course is conducted as a writing workshop, and students will be expected to read and give feedback on other students’ work as well as submit drafts of their own projects. The units for this course can be counted toward your final degree requirements.

Research Methods Course

M.A. students in Cultural Studies are required to take one research methods class to fulfill their research tool degree requirement. Students must earn at least a B in their Research Methods course in order to have it fulfill the requirement. All research tools must be completed at CGU. CGU will not give credit for research tools (language exams or methods courses) completed at a student’s previous institution.

Below is a partial list of approved research methods courses for Cultural Studies. The research tool(s) should be relevant to the student’s research – for example, if a student intends to use oral history as a research tool, he or she may take Oral History 304. Students may petition their academic advisor to substitute additional courses for the research tool requirement. Research methods courses can also count toward degree units (this is not the case in all CGU departments.) If a student took a research methods course at a previous academic institution prior to beginning study at CGU s/he may be able to transfer the units for that course, but s/he cannot use that course to fulfill the CGU research tool requirements. Media studies students may take a media production course as one of their research tools, but they must get prior approval from their advisor.

  • Field Methods in Cultural Studies
  • Visual Research Methods
  • Film Theory and Criticism
  • Introduction to Archival Studies (offered by the History Department)
  • Oral History (offered by the History Department)
  • Introduction to Literary Theory (offered by the English Department)


Final Paper/Project

As a final degree requirement, students must complete a research paper of at least 6000 and no more than 10,000 words of publishable journal article quality.  The paper must make an original contribution to a field of inquiry within Cultural Studies.  The topic and format will be approved by the student’s advisor.  Most Cultural Studies seminars require substantial original research papers as part of their course requirements, so students may expand and revise a seminar paper that they have written during their coursework at CGU or undertake a new project.  Students interested in non-textual work, such as video production or performance, may undertake a project equivalent to the written thesis with the approval of their research advisor (please see the Cultural Studies Department handbook for more information).


The M.A. degree may also be awarded to students who have advanced to candidacy for the doctorate, or to those who have not passed the qualifying examinations at the doctoral level but have met the standards for a M.A. degree. A comprehensive list of requirements is given in the departmental handbook.

2014 Claremont Graduate University 150 E. 10th St., Claremont, CA 91711 (909) 621-8000 Campus Safety Emergency Info Campus Map/Driving Directions