Top Schools for Cultural Studies

Jan 09, 2020

Learn about cultural studies programs, which typically include courses in foreign language, history, and regional customs. Find a summary of degree options at three top-notch national universities, as well as a table that can provide you with at-a-glance information about other colleges and universities in the United States that offer cultural studies programs.

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Top Cultural Studies Schools

Students in cultural studies programs may study a specific region, such as Asia or Africa, and the geography, history, and religious traditions associated with the area. Programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

School Overviews

The following three universities offer relevant degree programs in cultural studies. They were all nationally or regionally ranked by U.S. News and World Report for 2020:

1. University of California in Davis, CA

School Highlight: Cultural studies at the University of California in Davis, CA, offers an approach to the study of society and culture that renders critical analysis of the knowledge pertaining to gender and ethnic studies.

This school offers interdisciplinary Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in cultural studies. Students take courses in anthropology, sociology, and history while completing comparative research in certain aspects of culture, including food, travel, and media. A Designated Emphasis program is also offered, which includes African American and African studies, feminist theory and research, and studies in performance and practice. The school was ranked #39 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report for 2020.

2. Stanford University in Stanford, CA

School Highlight: Stanford University in Stanford, CA, awards 75% of the university's undergraduate degrees and 40% of its doctorates through its School of Humanities and Sciences.

Through the university's School of Humanities and Sciences, students can focus their cultural studies on one of many areas, including German, Latin American, or East Asian culture. Successful completion of the programs can lead to a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, or Ph.D. Stanford was tied #6 on the U.S. News and World Report list of top national universities for 2020.

3. California State University in Los Angeles, CA

School Highlight: The College of Natural and Social Sciences at California State University in Los Angeles, CA, offers 19 bachelor's degrees and 17 master's degrees within 15 departments.

Undergraduate students at Cal State LA can pursue a major, minor, or concentration in ethnic studies. The ethnic studies program is highly interdisciplinary combining studies in law, public policy, education, and business, among other topics. Students study a variety of ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and Latinas, and American Indians. There are also on-campus student groups that promote intercultural understanding, including Raza Unida and the Black Student Union. For 2020, the school was ranked #31 among universities in the West Region by U.S. News and World Report.

Top Cultural Studies Programs

Here are some more schools with great educational offerings in cultural studies:

School Name Location Distinction
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO International studies program offers concentrations in one of four areas
Columbia College Chicago, IL Offers a B.A. in Cultural Studies;
Loyola University Chicago, IL Offers master's programs, doctorates, and joint-degree programs
University of Illinois Chicago, IL Offers a variety of cultural studies programs and networks
University of Texas Dallas, TX Offers the country's only anthropology graduate programs with a cultural forms concentration
Yale University New Haven, CT Ranked third among national universities by U.S. News and World Report for 2020

Cultural studies programs may focus on one particular group, or they may cover a broad range of ethnic groups. Top schools around the country offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in this field.

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