To provide context for the area of study guidelines for area of study Cultural Studies for students matriculated before 3 Sept. 2014.
Area of Study Guidelines: This set of guidelines helps students plan their degree plans by spelling out what the academic world and many employers understand a particular concentration to mean. The guidelines are found in many academic publications.
Disciplinary — A program of study guided by the existing framework of a discipline.
Interdisciplinary — The simultaneous and interrelated study of two or more disciplines.
Problem Oriented — A program of study organized around a problem.
Professional/Vocational — A study which focuses on acquiring knowledge and skills needed for specific career performance and applications. It also entails inquiry into the conceptual foundations of the profession, the role of the professional in that career, and the relations between the profession and society at large.
Thematic — A program of study focusing on a particular theme or set of ideas.
Students designing programs in the area of Cultural Studies explore the ways in which human beings understand and articulate their world. They examine the relationship between culture as lived experience and culture as creative and philosophical expression. They explore aesthetic and cognitive forms and values within social and historical contexts; hence, Cultural Studies intersects and overlaps with various other areas of study (such as Historical Studies; The Arts; and Social Science). Students are encouraged to study artistic expression, social and cultural norms and belief systems, and modes of communication. Programs in Cultural Studies should include cross-cultural and historical perspectives addressing questions of gender, class and race. For example, students who work in Cultural Studies need to develop skills in critical reading, interpretation and writing. These skills include the ability to distinguish the main point of a text from supporting argument or evidence, to evaluate the logic and rhetoric of a presentation, to identify underlying assumptions and to interpret levels of meaning. Students also should develop skills to communicate their own ideas and feelings fully, precisely, and creatively in speech and writing. Students pursuing upper-level work in Cultural Studies should acquire conceptual vocabularies, knowledge of sources, and critical skills appropriate to their areas of focus or lines of inquiry. Degree programs in Cultural Studies should be focused on an articulated goal and should have a relatively broad frame of reference. Cultural Studies may include concentrations in communications, creative writing, expository writing, rhetoric and composition, journalism, language, literature, philosophy, religious studies and other areas.
Introduction to the Area of Study Guidelines