Appalachian Studies Degree Programs
Programs of Study
NEW FOR FALL 2021! Interdisciplinary Appalachian Studies BA/BS Degree
This creative and flexible interdisciplinary Appalachian Studies degree focuses on the culture, environment, leisure industries, and business entrepreneurship of the region for those students who wish to remain, work, teach, serve in, or write about the state or region after graduation. While the B.A. in Appalachian Studies is ideally suited for students who may choose to continue graduate studies, pursue a law degree or MAT teaching certification, the B.S. in Appalachian Studies, with its second minor and no language requirement, is appropriate for students moving directly into positions of leadership or professions in the community. Both degree tracks have the flexibility to prepare students for problem solving, innovation, understanding the region and the ever-changing and evolving working world of today. Both tracks also have Global Appalachia components where a semester of study abroad waives required electives. Apply online.
Innovative Programs and Points of Excellence
- The Global Appalachia and Celtic Roots program allows graduates and undergraduates to study or travel in lieu of required electives, with graduates having the option to use the graduate certificate (the first module of the MA) to complete, in one semester of study abroad, the MA in Creative Media Studies at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Shepherd’s partner in graduate studies. Students taking this option come away with two graduate degrees, the Shepherd University APST MA and the UWS MA in Creative Media Studies.
- Career opportunities in the Appalachian region, the tri-state area, and Washington D.C/Baltimore.
- A dedicated and professional faculty to assist students in achieving their academic, career, and creative goals, while understanding the complex story of the Appalachian region, key to achieving success in any field
- Practical and professional experiences built into APST curricular programs to facilitate student professionalism, including publication and conference presentation engendering student professional growth.
- Flexible and adaptive pathways that allow students to pursue their individual interests while finding an expression of those interests in the working world and achieving a global habit of mind.
- Programs of excellence that inspire and engage Shepherd University students, including National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Teacher Institutes, WV Fiction Competition and Common Read Program, an international annual anthology, and the Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence program that brings world class writers to Shepherd University and the State, to work with and inspire graduates and undergraduates: Nikki Giovanni, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Charles Frazier, Ron Rash, Denise Giardina, Dorothy Allison, Barbara Kingsolver, and Silas House among others.
Appalachia and the Appalachian Studies Program at Shepherd University
Parts of twelve states lie within the region known as Appalachia, some 200,000 square miles which rest within the contour of the Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New York and Pennsylvania to Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. While there is surprising diversity among the people of Appalachia (German, Italian, African American, Native American, and others in addition to Scot-Irish), defying traditional Appalachian stereotypes, the 23 million people who live in Appalachia are dependent upon an economy that has traditionally been limited in diversity. The area is rich in natural resources that principally feed the economy: coal, timber, gas, manufacturing and tourism. The Appalchian Studies Program, which includes undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence Project, the WV Fiction Competition, a fall Appalachian Heritage Festival, an annual Anthology of Appalachian Writers (ISSN 1946-3103), and an annual NEH Summer Seminar for Teachers, is committed to an understanding of the region, and its historical, environmental, social, and literary richness.