A PhD in Cultural Studies, a dynamic, growing field of inquiry, equips you with the cultural expertise and critical research methods needed to transcend disciplinary boundaries as you examine ideological dimensions of culture and power struggles among competing systems of representation.

Cultural Studies situates culture as a site of power struggles between competing systems of representations and the ways of life that they support. Our scholars use critical theory to examine 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 will study with faculty-scholars active in American and hemispheric literary studies, African American and Black Diaspora studies, feminist and queer studies, and many other fields. Your study includes training in field- and text-based research, ethnography, textual analysis of film and media, archival studies, and oral history, spanning the humanities and allowing you to tailor your academic experience. The PhD program offers ideal circumstances for collaborating with colleagues in other CGU departments and schools as well as with the other member colleges in the Claremont University Consortium.

Program Highlights
  • CGU is only 35 miles from Los Angeles, one of the most multicultural and diverse cities in the world with a wide array of internship and field opportunities.
  • You can pursue a PhD in Cultural Studies in conjunction with another degree program at CGU, such as an MA in Religion. You earn a diploma for each degree and “double count” some units from one program to the other to decrease your required total units.
  • You can pursue elective coursework in other CGU departments and schools and across the colleges of the Claremont University Consortium.

Program at a Glance

UNITS
72 units

COMPLETION TIME
4-7 years

COURSES BEGIN
Fall | Spring

DEPARTMENT
Cultural Studies

DEGREE AWARDED
PhD 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 301
Introduction to Cultural Studies: From Adorno to Žižek

Explores the work of key thinkers in the field of cultural studies, from Theodore Adorno and Walter Benjamin to Slavoj Žižek.

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 310
Introduction to American Studies

Introduces the leading scholars and thinkers in the field of American Cultural Studies and key concepts from critical race theory to hemispheric studies and more.

Additional Program Requirements

Course Requirements
72 units

Up to 24 units transfer credit from previous graduate work in relevant fields may be substituted for the elective coursework.

Research Tools Requirement

PhD Completion

Faculty & Research

  • David Luis-Brown profile image

    David Luis-Brown

    Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and English
    Chair, Cultural Studies Department
    Director, Africana Studies Program

    Research Interests

    Hemispheric Americas studies, Latino/a/x studies, Black diaspora studies, American literature and culture

  • Eve Oishi profile image

    Eve Oishi

    Associate Professor of Cultural Studies

    Research Interests

    Cultural studies, Media studies, Feminist and queer theory

  • Joshua Goode profile image

    Joshua Goode

    Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and History
    Chair, History Department

    Research Interests

    Modern Spain, 19th- and 20th-century Europe, Genocide and racial thought, Museums and commemoration, Memory

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 six 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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David Altman

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-1706 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)
E: david.altman@cgu.edu