MA in Folklore               Concurrent PhD               Designated Emphasis               Undergraduate Research
 

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M.A. in Folklore


The M.A. in folklore requires a minimum of 20 units of coursework, of which at least three four-unit courses must be graduate level, and an M.A. thesis based upon fieldwork or some other research project. During their first year of study, students take Anthropology 160, The Forms of Folklore, which provides an overview of folklore and folkloristics, and the core seminar, Folklore 262A-262B, Folklore Theory and Techniques. A graduate course in fieldwork methodology is also required, as selected from a list of approved courses. In close consultation with the Chair or Graduate Advisor, students work out a program of study that provides depth in one of the areas in which Berkeley is particularly strong: these include critical theories of traditionalities and modernities; ethnomusicology; medicine and the body; folk art and materiality; festival and religion; performance studies; gender and sexuality; race and coloniality; narrative and discourse analysis. Students may also propose courses of study in other areas.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Our students possess a broad range of humanities and social science backgrounds as well as from the natural sciences and other fields. They are drawn from universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Previous coursework in folkloristics is not required. All that is needed is a strong undergraduate record and the desire to excel.

Language Requirement

The student must demonstrate proficiency in reading at least one foreign language by the time he or she advances to candidacy. The language is selected in consultation with the Chair or Graduate Advisor; in most cases, it is the language most closely connected with the M.A. thesis. The language requirement is ordinarily satisfied by an examination in which the student translates a passage from an academic text in their language of choice into English.

M.A. Thesis

Theses are directed by a Thesis Committee consisting of at least three faculty members, one of whom does not belong to the Folklore Graduate Group. The Committee Chair and inside member must be members of the Graduate Group; a co-chair from another department or program may be named when appropriate.

Financial Support

The Folklore Graduate Program attempts to support students financially, often in the form of Graduate Student Researcher, Graduate Student Instructor, and Reader positions. Also, one incoming student per year will receive the Alan Dundes Fellowship. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee funding and applicants are strongly encouraged to seek outside fellowship support. Inquiries may be directed to Ned Garrett, Graduate Student Affairs Officer for the Folklore Program, by emailing ned@berkeley.edu or calling 510-642-3406.

 
 

Selecting Folklore as a Second Graduate Major


The Folklore Program is now pleased to be able to offer the option of earning the M.A. in Folklore while being concurrently enrolled in any Ph.D. program in the humanities and social sciences available at Berkeley. Students must be accepted by both the Ph.D.-granting department and the Folklore Program and complete all requirements for both degrees. More information on how to apply for folklore as a second major.

How to Apply

The application should be made to the Ph.D. program. We urge you to present a strong case for admission to the Ph.D. program and show how your interest in it would relate to your work in folkloristics. On your application, indicate the discipline or multidisciplinary program as your “proposed department and degree program” (for example, GERMAN MA/PHD) and, in the boxes that read “First Emphasis,” “Second Emphasis,” and “Other Emphasis,” indicate Folklore as the “Other emphasis.”

The Graduate Division will send a copy of your application to the Folklore Graduate Program. We strongly urge you, however, to contact us as well, letting us know that you are applying for dual admission and giving us a clear idea of the nature of your interest in folkloristics. The Ph.D.-granting unit must accept the possibility of dual admission—it is not automatic. During the admissions process, both units will review the application independently and will make autonomous decisions regarding acceptance or rejection. Acceptance by both the Folklore Program and the Ph.D. department or program is necessary for dual admission.

Requirements for Admissions

To be admitted to the program, applicants must already be accepted into an existing Ph.D. program at Berkeley (Master's students and students at other institutions are not eligible). Graduate students are strongly urged to apply early in their third semester, but applications will be considered at any time prior to completion of the qualifying examinations.

 
 

Designated Emphasis


Upon successful completion of the dissertation, the student's diploma and transcript will include the designation: "Ph.D. in [major] with a Designated Emphasis in Folklore." Requirements for Admissions

To be admitted to the program, applicants must already be accepted into an existing Ph.D. program at Berkeley (Master's students and students at other institutions are not eligible). Graduate students are strongly urged to apply early in their third semester, but applications will be considered at any time prior to completion of the qualifying examinations.

Curricular Requirements

Folklore C262A/B, Theories of Traditionality and Modernity (two semesters); Anthropology 160, Forms of Folklore (unless the applicant has taken an equivalent introduction to the discipline). It is strongly recommended that students take at least one course in their home department that focuses on research techniques.

Examination and Dissertation Requirements

The student's qualifying examination committee and dissertation committee must have one member of the D.E. faculty. UCB doctoral students who wish to apply to the Designated Emphasis in Folklore Program are welcome to contact the Chair and/or Graduate Adviser. Applications and details regarding admissions process are available from the Folklore Graduate Student Affairs Officer (ned@berkeley.edu and 510-642-3406).

 
 

Undergraduate Research


Positions are available through the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP). Student applications and supporting materials are due in the Program Office in 301 Campbell Hall on the first day of the second week of classes each term.

You can receive one credit (P/NP) for three hours of work in the archives per week, or you can take more credits! To find out more, contact the URAP office (301 Campbell Hall), or stop by the Archive for a chat.