Appalachian Studies

The Appalachian studies academic program, in partnership with the Center for Appalachian Studies, coordinates curriculum, research and community engagement relating to the Appalachian mountain region. Through course work, collaborative research and mentoring relationships, students acquire a broad understanding of the Appalachian mountain region and develop applied skills that translate academic learning into careers and regional service.

At the graduate level, we create an interdisciplinary learning environment that encourages students to develop targeted programs of study specific to their individual educational goals. We offer internships and other training opportunities that lead to meaningful careers within and beyond the Appalachian region.

Accelerated Admission

Accelerated Admission to the Appalachian studies MA program for App State students

The Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Study offers a program entitled "Accelerated Admission: Baccalaureate to Master's," which recruits exceptional undergraduate students currently pursuing a degree at Appalachian State University to enroll in graduate courses during their senior year. These graduate courses may fulfill both undergraduate and graduate course requirements for both a bachelor's and a graduate degree. Using "Accelerated Admission," a graduate program director may nominate a rising senior (i.e., a student in the second semester of the junior year) or current senior to take graduate coursework during that student's senior year. 

Global Curriculum in Appalachian Studies

Mountain-to-mountain pedagogy, scholarship, and exchanges are cornerstones of the Appalachian Studies Academic Program and central to its partnership with the Center for Appalachian Studies.

Upcoming Event

Global Roots of Appalachian Mountain Dance Symposium 

The Global Roots of Appalachian Mountain Dance Symposium is a three-day event sponsored by the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University in spring 2022. Free and open to the public, the symposium will include:

  • performances, 
  • workshops, 
  • jams, 
  • film screenings and discussion, 
  • lecture demonstrations, 
  • a keynote panel and 
  • social dances of the diverse traditions that make up the global roots of Appalachian dance.

These include West African, Afro-Caribbean, Cherokee, and Irish dance traditions. Additionally, Appalachian dance traditions, such as flatfooting and buckdancing, and their close “cousins,” such as tapping and stepping, will be featured to highlight the different directions that these roots took off. 

For more information or to get involved, please email Dr. Julie Shepherd-Powell at

News & Events

Watauga Residential College students partner with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture through Appalachian Regional Commission student research training grant

Dr. Jessica Martell's first-year Watauga Residential College students successfully participated in this year's Appalachian Teaching Project, a student...

College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) for the COVID Experience category as a Gold medal winner. Photo by Mike Belleme.

Jesse Barber wins College Photographer of the Year for COVID Experience category

Jesse Barber, self-designed Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in documentary studies in Appalachia and...

Jesse Barber, an Appalachian State University senior from Sawmills, is pursuing a self-designed B.A. in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in documentary studies in Appalachia and a minor in sustainable development. Photo by Mike Belleme

Mountaineer photographer Jesse Barber focuses on storytelling

World traveler, writer, photographer, volunteer and passionate environmentalist — at 28, Jesse Barber is just getting started.A native of Sawmills, ...

Dr. Katherine Ledford. Photo Submitted

Dr. Katherine Ledford recognized with 2020 Clark Medallion Book Award

Dr. Katherine Ledford, professor in the University’s Appalachian studies program, received the 2020 Clark Medallion Book Award for her book titled ...