Master of Arts in Cultural Studies (MACS) (beginning autumn 2008)

The Master of Arts in Cultural Studies (MACS) is designed for students who want to develop careers in social, cultural, and arts fields or to pursue further interdisciplinary graduate education across the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences. MACS will be the first graduate program in the Pacific Northwest, and one of very few programs nationally, to partner the interdisciplinary study of art and culture with a community-based learning network capable of providing students with opportunities to document educational experiences and professional skills suited to their individual career goals.

The MACS curriculum will allow students to integrate diverse content areas and research methods, to develop the competencies central to the interdisciplinary study of art and culture, and to participate in community action research and experiential learning opportunities. The program's unique blend of academic and community-based methods of inquiry and forms of professional practice will provide students with the skills essential for their future success as cultural workers in the rapidly shifting regional and national landscape of social, cultural, and arts organizations.

Faculty Profile


MACS builds on strengths within the IAS and UWB faculty across a wide variety of arts, humanities, and social science disciplines, methods, and media, including cinema studies, communications, art history, psychology, performance studies, social and cultural history, philosophy, political economy, geography, literature, sociology, anthropology, education, ethnography, and various experiential pedagogies such as service-learning and action research. 

MACS faculty are involved in a range of interdisciplinary knowledge projects that cut across the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and they bring to those projects an understanding of scholarship, research, and teaching as a collaborative practice that ought to engage both university and community constituencies.


Application Procedure

To ensure a successful match between program and applicant, the MACS Admissions Committee will review the applicant's qualifications and readiness to do graduate level work through a comprehensive and holistic review of his or her application materials. Please submit items 1 and 2 online and items 3 through 6 to:


Admissions Committee
Master of Arts in Cultural Studies (MACS)
Box 358511
University of Washington Bothell
18115 Campus Way NE

Bothell, WA 98011

1.       [ONLINE] An application to the Graduate School and $45 application fee. Apply online:

2.       [ONLINE] Three letters of reference, including at least one that discusses your academic work. The names of referents can be entered in the on-line application in step 1.  Referents will receive an email directing them to the website to submit their recommendations. You will receive an email after each reference is submitted; you can monitor the status of each recommendation on the application web site.

3.       A letter of application, two to three pages in length, articulating your goals in seeking a MACS degree, describing your relevant background, and relating both to the materials enclosed in your accompanying dossier (see steps 4-6 below).

4.       A current resume or curriculum vitae.

5.       Up to three items representative of your best work.  At least one should be a writing sample demonstrating your research skills, critical and creative thinking abilities, and writing capacities.  Other items may include your media or creative work, products of your academic or non-academic research activities, documentation of community-based or activist projects in which you have played a central role, or any other materials that you consider relevant to your application.

6.       All official transcripts from prior academic work.

Priority Application Deadline:  February 1, 2008

(Applications may be considered after the priority deadline on a case-by-case basis.)

Course Sequence (Proposed)

Year 1

Fall Winter Spring Summer
Entry Assessment Meetings with Individual Students Foundation Core I: Problems and Contexts in the Study of Culture (10 credits)

Foundation Core II:

Approaches to Cultural Studies Research and Inquiry (5 credits)

Elective (5 credits)

Foundation Core III: Cultural Studies in Collaboration (5 credits)

Elective (5 credits)

Internship, Community-Based Learning, and Study Abroad opportunities

Year 2

Fall Winter Spring Summer

Capstone Project Narrative Meetings

Capstone Core I: Capstone Project Design and Development (5 credits)

Elective (5 credits)

Capstone Core II: Capstone Seminar (5 credits)

Students Select Capstone Project Supervisor and Second Reader

Elective (5 credits)

Capstone Core III: Capstone Advising and  Public Colloquium (10 credits)

Students Select Capstone Project Supervisor and Second Reader