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The certificate in folklore studies enables students to explore the processes of tradition that move through multiple expressive forms, such as folktales, folk beliefs, folk medicine, folk art, folksong, and literature. A discipline based on ethnographic fieldwork, folklore studies offers students a chance to work in communities and collect living traditional materials that are critical to human identity and values. Interdisciplinary by nature, folklore thrives on local particularities as well as compelling global connections.

This certificate prepares students for careers in cultural agencies, governmental organizations, and teaching institutions, and advanced study in folklore and in the humanities.


Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For information specific to the graduate certificate in folklore studies, see Application Requirements and Deadlines.

Banner Code: LA-CERG-FLKS

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 18

This certificate may be pursued on a full-or part-time basis.

For policies governing all graduate certificates, see AP.6.8 Requirements for Graduate Certificates.

Core Courses

Pathways to Folklore Scholarship

ENGH 681Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies 13
Total Credits3

Required Courses

Select three courses from the following:9
Special Topics in the History and Criticism of Children's Literature 1
Topics in Folk Narrative 1
Topics in Folklore Studies 1
Advanced Topics in Folklore Studies 1
Directed Reading and Research
Ethnographic Genres
Total Credits9

Research Course

Select one research course from the following:3
Research in English Studies
The Study and Writing of History
Qualitative Research Methods
Total Credits3


Select 3 credits of a relevant elective with the prior written approval of the director.3
Total Credits3