The program is interdisciplinary in nature, building on four
required core courses.
- The Proseminar familiarizes students with the major genres
and topics of the field and surveys the theoretical paradigms
that have been applied to folklore materials.
- The seminar History of Folklore Studies deepens this survey
and gives students the opportunity to explore the history of
the field in their particular area of interest.
- The fieldwork seminar juxtaposes on-the-ground exercises in
ethnographic work with the rising critical insight and ethical
concerns about ethnographic practice.
- A final, fourth core course grapples with the most current
theoretical issues in the field.
Students may put together their further courses (to a total of
twenty required for the Ph.D. degree, a total of eight for the
M.A.) according to their areas of interest, drawing from the broad
spectrum of courses offered through the core faculty and the graduate
group in folklore and folklife.
By the end of their course work, students have achieved both
a solid foundation in folklore studies and worked toward a specialization
in topical, theoretical and geographic areas. The program encourages
students to acquire practical experience in areas of potential
In addition to exploring potential sites for dissertation research,
many students opt to spend their summers with internships in public
programs far beyond Philadelphia. Others develop their teaching
skills teaching summer courses.
Course work for the M.A. can be completed in one year; a qualifying
exam and an M.A. paper as well as a language exam are additional
requirements for the degree.
Coursework for the Ph.D. can be completed in three years, and
students also need to fulfill two language exams. This is followed
by the Ph.D. exams and the dissertation. Students generally plan
on five to seven years to complete all degree requirements.
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