About the Program
The interdisciplinary Folklore Program at the University of California, Berkeley trains intellectual leaders in folkloristics for the twenty-first century. We seek to provide a deep, critical, and theoretically-informed reading of folklore scholarship from the seventeenth century through the present. We urge students to develop a particular field of expertise in folkloristics. At the same time, we advise our graduate students to develop strong grounding in another discipline or multidisciplinary perspective, such as race and ethnic studies, performance studies, science studies, rhetoric, narrative theory, ethnomusicology, materiality, women's and queer theory, and others, in order to bring new perspectives to their work in folkloristics.
The Folklore Program offers two options: a two-year-long Masters in Folklore; and a Designated Emphasis.
The Designated Emphasis in Folklore permits students to specialize in folklore while pursuing a PhD in a UC Berkeley department or program.
Admission to the University
Applying for Graduate Admission
Thank you for considering UC Berkeley for graduate study! UC Berkeley offers more than 120 graduate programs representing the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary scholarship. A complete list of graduate academic departments, degrees offered, and application deadlines can be found on the Graduate Division website.
Prospective students must submit an online application to be considered for admission, in addition to any supplemental materials specific to the program for which they are applying. The online application can be found on the Graduate Division website.
The minimum graduate admission requirements are:
A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and
Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.
For a list of requirements to complete your graduate application, please see the Graduate Division’s Admissions Requirements page. It is also important to check with the program or department of interest, as they may have additional requirements specific to their program of study and degree. Department contact information can be found here.
Where to apply?
Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.
Admission to the Program
Applicants for the Masters degree in Folklore must hold a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an institution of acceptable standing.
Master's Degree Requirements
The requirements for the MA in Folklore include 20 units, of which at least 10 must be graduate-level (200 number) in Folklore.
|ANTHRO 160AC||Forms of Folklore (Required if no equivalent introduction to the discipline has already been taken. )||4|
|FOLKLOR C262A||Theories of Traditionality and Modernity||4|
|FOLKLOR C262B||Theories of Traditionality and Modernity||4|
|One graduate elective, in methodology|
|Electives, per approved study list|
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 adviser; in most cases, it is the language most closely connected with the MA 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.
Capstone/Thesis (Plan I)
MA thesis based upon fieldwork or some other research project. (No course credits are allowed for the 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.
Designated Emphasis Requirements
The Designated Emphasis in Folklore permits students to specialize in folklore while pursuing a PhD in a UC Berkeley department or program. The DE seeks to train future leaders in the field of folklore by assisting students in developing their own critical, theoretically-informed reading of folklore scholarship from the seventeenth century through the present, developing sophisticated analyses of traditional cultural forms and how they are imbricated in producing modernities, and juxtaposing folkloristic approaches with perspectives emerging from their home disciplines in shaping interdisciplinary exchanges of ideas and development of rigorous research that challenges epistemological boundaries.
Upon successful completion of the dissertation, the student's diploma and transcript will include the designation: "PhD 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 PhD 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.
FOLKLOR C262A and FOLKLOR C262B, and ANTHRO 160AC, 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 DE 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, Tabea Mastel (firstname.lastname@example.org; 510-642-3406).
232 Anthropology and Art Practice Building
Interim Folklore Director
Faculty Head Graduate Advisor
Faculty Equity Advisor
Graduate Student Affairs Officer
213 Anthropology & Art Practice Building