Appalachian Studies

The Appalachian studies academic program, in partnership with the Center for Appalachian Studies,  focus on teaching and academic research. These programs of study broadcast on campus and to the larger world the value of a deeper understanding of global mountain regions both as cultural and environmental settings. Academic programs in Appalachian Studies assist ASU faculty in teaching and research about the region, so that their professional development parallels their involvements as citizens and as residents. Appalachian Studies courses assist undergraduate and graduate students in critical thinking and learning key questions and research strategies for studying the Appalachian region and its communities. The academic program involves students and faculty in exploring the region with local and global perspectives, in ways that enhance their personal and professional lives.

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 Master's

Accelerated Master's Program to the Appalachian studies MA program for App State students

The Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies offers an Accelerated Master's Program 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 Master's," 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.

Recent 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 ...