Course Sequence


Autumn Quarter

Winter Quarter

Spring Quarter

Year One

BCULST 500 Formations of Cultural Studies (5)

BCULST 502 Cultural Studies Research Practices (5)

BCULST 501 Cultural Studies as Collaboration (5)

Year One Cultural Studies Elective (5) Cultural Studies Elective (5) Cultural Studies Elective (5)

Year Two

BCULST 510 Engaging Cultural Studies (5)

BCULST 511 Portfolio and Professional Development (1)

BCULST 512 Cultural Studies and its Publics (10)
Year Two Cultural Studies Elective (5) Cultural Studies Elective (5)  
Year Two   Cultural Studies Elective (4-5)  


The Cultural Studies curriculum builds foundational knowledge of different forms of cultural studies inquiry, with a special emphasis on participatory action research strategies and diverse forms of community collaboration. The two-year program draws on the existing and emerging strengths, interests, and experiences of students and faculty alike. The program's curriculum and its learning environment are intentionally collaborative, generative, and flexible.

Cultural Studies is a student-driven and portfolio-based program. At every stage, we have designed the curriculum to build on the energy and resources that students bring to the program. It will work equally well for students whose background is largely academic and those with extensive professional experience. Our aim is to provide Cultural Studies students with multiple opportunities to develop a rich toolkit of skills and a vital network of professional and community relationships that will enhance their future careers across a range of arts and cultural practices and fields.

Dates and Deadlines

You are responsible for meeting key program milestones, including portfolio reviews and capstone proposals, as listed on the Dates and Deadlines page.

Year 1

As a Cultural Studies student, you will begin by meeting with members of the program faculty and staff and be assigned a Portfolio Advisor. The first-year core courses will orient you to the field of cultural studies, introduce you to our three core research methodologies, and develop among your cohort skills in collaboration. In the spring, you will select a Capstone Advisor.

Detailed Timeline: Year 1

Year 2

The second-year courses will launch you, either individually or in project teams, on an arc that leads from project idea and creation to execution and evaluation. In addition to the 31 credits that make up the two-year core curriculum, you will enroll in 29 credits of electives that enhance your capstone project and help you to develop your program portfolio.

Detailed Timeline: Year 2

Cultural Studies Portfolio

Throughout the program students develop the Cultural Studies portfolio, a collection of student work and related reflective material that displays key learning and charts development over time. The portfolio maps student work to the capstone sequence, elective courses, and community-driven or practice-based work. It may also serve, for many students, as a professional development tool.

Educational Focus

The Cultural Studies curriculum allows 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, and to build a learning and professional portfolio.

The program's unique blend of inquiry and practice helps students develop the versatility needed for success as cultural workers in the rapidly shifting local and global landscape of social, cultural, and arts organizations.

Credits Distribution

  • Core courses: 31 credits (first and second year core course sequences)
  • Electives: 29 credits (minimum of 10 credits in BCULST electives, excluding internships, study abroad, and directed research)
  • Total: 60 credits

Elective Credits

The Cultural Studies program requires that students complete at least 10 of their 29 required elective credits in BCULST courses, excluding BCULST 520: Internship; BCULST 598: Directed Research, BCULST 596: Study Abroad, and BCULST 599: Capstone Research.

There are many options available to students when it comes to choosing electives.  The first place to look is at the BCULST elective offerings, located for the year on the current courses page. Students can also take graduate level coursework in other degrees, such as Policy Studies, or 400-level classes that are relevant to their field of study. To find other UWB courses, please refer to the UWB Time Schedule. To find courses on the Seattle campus, please refer to the UWS Time Schedule.

Students wishing to receive elective credit for courses taken in other departments (either at UW Bothell or UW Seattle) must fill out a Petition for Outside Coursework and obtain faculty approval.

Directed Research, Internships, & Study Abroad

Petitions & Forms

If you are interested in signing up for an outside elective course, undergoing a directed reading, or changing credit load for a course, please fill out the appropriate petition. The IAS Graduate Office will review your petition and respond to you about the next steps.

Summer Quarter

NOTE: Students in summer quarter have the option of pursuing directed research, enrolling in Cultural Studies electives in other UW departments, engaging in an internship or a field research project, or studying abroad.