Program Curriculum

Program Goals and Objectives

The Master of Arts in Cultural Studies at the University of Washington Bothell (UW Bothell) is designed to provide you with opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for your success in one or both of two main areas:

  • professional careers in community-based arts, culture, service organizations in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors;
  • further academic study in the interdisciplinary arts, humanities, and social sciences.

To this end, the Cultural Studies curriculum stresses the integration of skills, abilities, and domains of knowledge at the heart of cultural studies as an interdisciplinary field (critical theoretical approaches, problem-posing and problem-solving capacities, critical research methodologies, and creative and effective writing and speaking) as well as community-based experiences, applied research, and experiential learning opportunities.

Program Goals

This unique mixture of theoretical and practical training provides students with the professional abilities essential for cultural workers in a rapidly changing variety of social, cultural, and arts arenas. As a Cultural Studies graduate, you will be able to:

  1. identify, analyze, and address the specific structural location of cultural issues and debates, and propose creative and effective interventions;
  2. recognize, critically address, and collaboratively negotiate cultural diversity and difference in a variety of educational and institutional sites;
  3. move effectively from project conception to project execution through the use of both critical and immersive techniques that engage specific publics;
  4. create a dynamic portfolio of work that provides the opportunity for reflection and showcases examples of research and collaboration;
  5. engage in professional positions as researchers, educators, activists, artists, and problem-solvers in a variety of cultural and organizational arenas.

Learning Objectives

These general learning objectives are supported by focused work that enables students to:

  1. write effectively and creatively in appropriate professional genres and styles;
  2. speak, present, and document ideas clearly and creatively;
  3. display critical understanding of the multiple methods of presentation/ documentation emphasized in the program: written, spoken, video, performance, multimedia;
  4. work proficiently in at least two of the program’s emphasized methods of presentation/documentation;
  5. display critical understanding of the multiple research methods emphasized in the program: arts and performance-based, hermeneutics and textual, ethnographic and narrative;
  6. work proficiently in at least one of the program’s emphasized research methods;
  7. display critical understanding and appreciation of diverse community literacies and the challenges they pose for collaborative work;
  8. manifest capacity to develop creative and effective strategies for working collaboratively across diverse communities;
  9. display critical understandings of the linkages between cultural practices and their institutional locations;
  10. initiate and contribute to research projects oriented toward creating and assessing collaborative and organizational processes as appropriate.

Progress in learning and applying these skills and abilities is monitored through work associated with individual courses, field work engagements, and products of individual study. The overall assessment of your progress and learning outcomes with respect to these objectives draws upon a Cultural Studies Portfolio maintained by each student and discussed at two formal review moments in the program (i.e. Spring Quarters of Year 1 and Year 2).