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The Master of Arts in Cultural Studies explores ideological dimensions of culture and competing systems of representation, providing cross-disciplinary intellectual training to support individual research.

Cultural Studies students are taught to use critical theory to understand cultural practices and activist politics in a variety of intellectual and practical settings. As a student in one of the oldest Cultural Studies programs nationwide, you’ll study with faculty-scholars active in such fields as American and hemispheric literary studies, African American and Black Diaspora studies, feminist and queer studies, comparative Latina/o studies, European history, media studies, and museum studies. Your study includes training in field- and text-based research, ethnography, textual analysis of film and media, archival studies, digital and visual research methods, curatorial methods, and oral history, spanning the humanities and allowing you to tailor your academic experience. The MA program offers ideal circumstances for collaborating with colleagues in other CGU departments and schools as well as with other member colleges in the Claremont University Consortium. Our graduates gain expertise that lets them navigate political, cultural, and economic terrain using sophisticated discourse, inquiry, and research techniques.

Program Highlights

Program at a Glance

40 units

2 years

*Program completion times may vary depending on course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring

Cultural Studies

MA in Cultural Studies

Featured Courses

CLST 300
The Time & Space of Cultural Studies

Studies writers whose work has shaped the field, particularly in anthropology, post-colonialism, ethnic studies, feminism, diaspora studies, and geography.

CLST 302
Introduction to Cultural Studies

Students examine the various questions that have produced the field of Cultural Studies over time and read widely through the works of Nietzche, Marx, Foucault, and others.

CLST 308
Comparative Cultural Studies Traditions: Latin American & the U.S.

Explores foundational theories of Cultural Studies as practiced in the United States based on English origins, Latin American and Latino/a influence, Marxist theory, and cultural materialism.

CLST 308
Mapping Latino/a/x Studies

Analyzes Latinization in Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, and greater New York—and such topics as the borderlands, immigration, and hemispheric approaches to U.S. culture.

CLST 452
Feminist & Queer Theory

Explores the complex, fluid, and productive function of “the body” as object of knowledge as well as feminist and queer theory’s contribution to producing new bodies of knowledge.

CLST 415
Ethnographic Field Research Methods in Cultural Studies

Provides an introduction to a range of strategies for field research in cultural studies, including participant observation, life histories, interviewing, socio-linguistic analysis, and other qualitative methods.


Course Requirements

  • One required writing class
  • Three 300-level Cultural Studies foundation courses

Research Tools Requirement

  • Research Methods course

Research Paper

  • One substantive research paper

Special Program
In addition to earning an MA in Cultural Studies, you can complete a certificate program in Africana Studies or Women’s & Gender Studies.

Faculty & Research
Extended Faculty

Elizabeth Affuso

Pitzer College

Research Interests

Spectatorship, Fandom, Branding, Technology, Architecture, Moving image media art, Reality television

Aimee Bahng

Pomona College

Research Interests

Gender and women’s studies

Myriam Chancy

Scripps College

Research Interests

African diaspora with specialization in its literature

Jih-Fei Cheng

Scripps College

Research Interests

Feminist and queer of color approaches to media representations of public health issues

Ciara Ennis

Pitzer College

Research Interests

The appropriation of Wunderkammer tactics in contemporary curatorial practice

Paul Faulstich

Pitzer College

Research Interests

Cultural ecology, Ecological design, Ecology of expressive culture, Aboriginal Australias

Jennifer Friedlander

Pomona College

Research Interests

Cultural studies, Contemporary art controversies, Film theory, Psychoanalytic theory

Martha Gonzalez

Scripps College

Research Interests

Chicanx-Latinx studies

Jesse Lerner

Pitzer College

Research Interests

Media studies

Susan Phillips

Pitzer College

Research Interests

Community, gangs, and environment

Erin Runions

Pomona College

Research Interests

The intersections of biblical interpretation and political philosophies, with their multiple impacts on political subjectivity, gender, sexuality, U.S. national sovereignty, and biopolitics

David Seitz

Harvey Mudd College

Research Interests

Cultural geography

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

As a student in the School of Arts & Humanities, you have the option of completing one of five interdisciplinary concentrations.

American Studies

The American Studies concentration takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of United States culture, society, civilization, and identity through the curricular lenses of history, literature, critical theory, and more.

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Early Modern Studies

The Early Modern Studies concentration undertakes interdisciplinary examination of history, culture, politics, and society within the transitional and transformative period that stretched between Medieval and modern societies, marked especially by the advent of print, Christian confessional war, and the rise of the modern state.

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Hemispheric & Transnational Studies

A comparative analysis of culture in the Americas, the concentration in Hemispheric & Transnational Studies explores how scholarship on the Atlantic, borderlands, and diaspora have reshaped U.S. American Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Latin American Studies, emphasizing the topics of empire, race, religion, and revolution.

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Media Studies

Situated at the bustling intersection of cultural studies, new media, critical theory, and popular culture, the burgeoning field of Media Studies examines the creative and critical practices of media consumers, producers, artists, and scholars, focusing on questions of representation, power, technology, politics, and economy.

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Museum Studies

The Museum Studies concentration investigates the history and political role of museums in society, the interpretation and display of a wide variety of cultural productions, and topics of special concern to museums as cultural organizations, using a multidisciplinary, practice-based approach to understand the historical development of this evolving field.

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These concentrations are available for students pursuing the following degree programs:

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Gigi Audoma

Director of Recruitment for the School of Arts & Humanities
T: 909-607-0441