Folklore and Ethnography Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeJohn Haddad
Program CodeCLFKET

This 15-credit graduate certificate program offered at Penn State Harrisburg provides students with skills and practices used in projects and institutions of folklore and ethnography, which include field/folk schools and other educational settings, festivals and arts councils, historical and heritage societies, community and cultural organizations and centers, archives and record management programs, governmental agencies, cultural conservation/sustainability groups, and media production companies.

Effective Semester:  Summer 2019
Expiration Semester: Spring 2024

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Applicants are expected to have 3.00 GPA or above in the last two years of undergraduate work in folklore, anthropology, sociology, American Studies, ethnic studies, history, communications, or other fields related to folklore and ethnography.

A student in the certificate program may also become a student in the M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies, M.A. in Communications, or M.A. in Humanities, if the student meets criteria for admission to the Graduate School and to the graduate program; however, successful completion of the certificate neither implies nor guarantees admission to a graduate program at Penn State. Courses taken in the certificate program may be applied toward a graduate degree, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit. Certificate students who wish to have certificate courses applied towards a graduate degree must apply and be admitted to that degree program.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

The Folklore and Ethnography certificate is awarded for successful completion of 9 credits of prescribed courses plus 6 credits of electives from an approved list of courses. Students must earn a grade of B or above in each course that counts toward the certificate program. Substitution of topical courses and seminars with variable content related to folklore and ethnography for elective credits is possible with approval in advance from the certificate coordinator.

Prescribed Courses
AMST 530Topics in American Folklore3
AMST 531Material Culture and Folklife 13
or AMST 541 Ethnography of Technology and Media in the United States
AMST 540Ethnography and Society3
In addition to the 9 credits of prescribed course work, students must select 6 credits from the following list of elective courses:6
American Beliefs and Myths
Folk Groups and Genres
Ethnography of the United States
Historic Preservation
Public Heritage Practices
The Folktale in American Literature
Seminar in Public Heritage
Individual Studies
Total Credits15

Student must choose to complete one of either AMST 531 or AMST 541 (both are not required, though either may be taken as an elective, if not used to complete the prescribed courses requirement).


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain knowledge of folklore and ethnography studies field, including its history, scope, theories, and methods.
  2. Provide skills applicable to folkloristic and ethnographic work, such as fieldwork, archives and records management, oral presentation, writing, and media design.
  3. Provide opportunities for hands-on experience in folkloristic and ethnographic practices such as ethnographic coding and interviewing; archival processing; festival and public programming; cultural resource management.


Campus Harrisburg
Graduate Program Head John Rogers Haddad
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Anne Ayer Verplanck
Program Contact

Hannah B Murray
Penn State Harrisburg
777 W Harrisburg Pike 356W Olmsted
Middletown PA 17057

Program Website View