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Issued November 2022

The Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology is saddened to report the planned suspension of the Master of Arts Program in Folk Studies, the suspension pending approval of the university’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The college cannot provide resources, including replacement faculty lines, sufficient to support continuation of the program in a manner consistent with its 50-year history of excellence.

The department is committed to working with the college to meet the needs of students currently enrolled in the Master of Arts program and associated JUMP program so that they may complete their degrees here or at another institution.

The planned suspension applies only to the graduate program, not the undergraduate folklore minor or the anthropology major/minor.

There are many questions left to be answered, including the implications for the Kentucky Folklife Program. We will keep you informed as we learn more.

We are grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to make the Master of Arts program in Folk Studies successful for a half-century. We all should take pride in what we have accomplished.


If you don't have a background in folklore, don't worry! While some students come to our graduate program with undergraduate majors or minors in folklore, most enter the program with little or no academic background in the discipline.

We encourage you to contact the Folk Studies program director so that we can work with you to make your application process as smooth as possible. Let us know if you plan to come for a visit!



  • Potential students should review the general requirements for admission to all WKU graduate programs.
  • Applicants to the Folk Studies graduate program must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. 



The following must be submitted directly to the Graduate School:

  • A complete application to the Graduate School
    • When you apply, you will be required to choose your Concentration within the degree (see the Graduate Catalog for requirements for each Concentration). If you are admitted and you later wish to change your concentration, you may do so in consultation with the Folk Studies Program Director.
  • Official college transcripts
  • GRE scores - Due to the difficult circumstances of COVID-19, the GRE requirement is currently waived for applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • English proficiency scores (international students)

In addition, applicants must submit the following directly to the Folk Studies program director:

  • A statement of intent which describes the applicant's interest in Folk Studies and research/career plans (these generally run 2-3 pages)
  • A resume
  • A writing sample (there is no length or subject requirement; applicants should submit a writing sample they feel best reflects their research and writing abilities)
  • Three letters of reference must be submitted on the student's behalf, directly to the Folk Studies director by the letter writers
  • An application for a graduate assistantship (required only for those who want to be considered for assistantship funding)                         

Application & Admissions Timeline

We have a rolling admissions system (you can apply anytime), but it is best to apply earlier rather than later. In order to receive full consideration for graduate assistantship funding, we recommend that you submit all application materials by February 1 prior to the fall in which you hope to begin. Applications are welcome after that date, but please contact the program director if you are interested in applying for a graduate assistantship position after this date, as opportunities may or may not be available.  While the program is designed for students to begin in a fall co-hort, we also welcome applicants who would like to to start in the spring.

Additional information from the Graduate School for prospective students.                





237 Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center  |  Potter College of Arts and Letters  |  Western Kentucky University  |   1906 College Heights Blvd. #61029  |  Bowling Green, KY 42101-1029  |  Email: fsa@wku.edu | Phone: (270) 745-6549  |  Fax: (270) 745-6889   

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 Last Modified 11/1/22