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Cultural Studies


Certificate Requirements


Students who wish to apply to the certificate program must be enrolled in a graduate or professional program at the University of Pittsburgh and must be in good academic standing. To apply, please come by the Cultural Studies office in 2205 Posvar during regular office hours and see the Program Assistant.

The Master's Certificate in Cultural Studies is granted only after the completion of all degree requirements for the MA (or corresponding degree) in the student's home department, school or program.

The PhD Certificate can be awarded only after the student has been admitted to candidacy for the PhD (or corresponding degree).

A student may earn either a Master's Certificate or a PhD Certificate, but not both.

One-year fellowships are awarded annually to outstanding resident students pursuing a PhD certificate.

Students from departments without foreign language requirements are expected to demonstrate the ability to use primary and secondary texts in one language other than English. Courses are regularly offered in the language departments toward the achievement of this level of reading proficiency.

Specific course offerings may vary from semester to semester, but requirements include a common seminar, core courses, and designated courses.

Course Requirements for MA Certificate

Course Requirements for PhD Certificate

Course Descriptions

Common Seminar

This course, offered annually, is designed to give students the opportunity to interact with faculty and other students from Cultural Studies and other departments, programs and schools. Recent Common Seminars have been:

  • Evidence and Argument in the Human Sciences
  • Myth, Ideology, and Science
  • Identity
  • Culture(s) and Representation(s) of Trauma

Core Courses

(A) Text and Theory

Courses in the group provide training in the study of textual practices and literary theories. They review contemporary critical approaches, identify the rhetorical elements in a variety of textual practices (including film), examine the work of recent criticism and theory, and evaluate the reception of texts and their ideological implications. Included in this group are such courses as:

  • 2229 Media and Global Cultures (COMMRC)
  • 2830 Cultural Critics (RELST)

(B) Disciplines and Intellectual Movements

Courses in this group focus on the relationship between the cultural, the social, and the political; the relationship between interpretation and explanation; the history of intellectual movements beyond national borders; the formation of fields of knowledge, disciplines, and genres; the historical conditions in which disciplines are institutionalized, and the intellectual modes of their assessment. Included in this group are such courses as:

  • 2302 Sociology of Religion (SOC, RELST)
  • 2690 History and Philosophy of Psychology (HPS)

(C) Cultural Antagonisms and Cultural Crises

Courses in this group explore, compare, and contrast the nature and consequences of historical moments and intellectual debates particularly rife with cultural and social upheavals. Such crucial confrontations may be geographical (north-south, east-west); they may involve issues of individuality versus collectivity (revolutions, nationalism, ethnicity); or they may explore distinct cultural oppositions (pop culture and high culture, scientific models of knowledge, and humanistic models of knowledge). Included in this group are such courses as:

  • 2650 Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (HPS, PHIL)
  • 3104 Made in USA: America in French (ENG)

(D) Designated Courses

Each semester the program cross-lists several designated courses offered in various departments, programs, and schools. Included in this group have been such courses as:

  • 2021 History and Spectacle (ENG)
  • 2663 Perception (HPS)
  • 2685 Science and Its Rhetoric (HPS)
  • 2702 Double Outcasts (GERLL)
  • 2745 Ritual Process (RELST)