Popular Culture

Bachelor of Arts
Department of Popular Culture
College of Arts and Sciences

Popular culture studies everyday life, including but not limited to everything that is mass produced by us and for us. Its subject matter is the world in which we live, relax and have fun. By examining television programs, movies, cars, houses, music, museums, celebratory events, holidays, magazines and many other manifestations of culture insights can be used to examine society presently and historically.

Career Opportunities

The popular culture major allows students to build on a core of popular culture courses and a carefully selected minor, such as sociology, journalism, women’s studies, ethnic studies, history and others to prepare for a variety of careers. Typically, students prepare for careers in such fields as advertising, public relations, journalism, mass media (management, performance, production and marketing), teaching, library and museum work. While graduates in popular culture may find themselves competing against specialized graduates in fields like marketing and journalism, they have the advantage of possessing both specialized training and general analytical skills.


The major requires a minimum of 36 credit hours. All students complete a required core of five courses. Additional courses are chosen from departmental offerings by the student and advisor around a vocational goal, area of interest or a broad combination of areas. Because of the unusual nature of the program, the student/advisor relationship is very important. Only through careful consultation can a program be completed to satisfy the needs of the student and meet the requirements of the program.

Special Features

BGSU is widely acknowledged as a leader in the study of popular culture. The program benefits from its close association with the internationally renowned Center for Popular Culture Studies, the Browne Popular Culture Library and the Sound Recordings Archives.

The Center for Popular Culture Studies promotes the interdisciplinary study of Popular Culture through excellence in scholarly activity and engagement with Bowling Green State University, the communities of Ohio, the United States, and the world. The Center offers resident fellowships, conferences and symposia, and a monthly colloquia/lecture series that features faculty and graduate students from the Department of Popular Culture and other academic units at or outside of Bowling Green State University.

The Browne Popular Culture Library contains a unique assortment of materials from the 19th and 20th centuries. It includes fiction and nonfiction books, popularly written periodicals and other print and non-print materials such as games, photographs, post cards and advertising materials.

The Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives contains the most extensive collection of recorded American popular music housed at a university. The library also houses a collection of approximately 2,000 reels of tape and about 1,000 cassettes. One of the special collections on tape includes more than 4,000 hours of old radio shows such as The Shadow, The Green Hornet and Jack Benny. By item count the library has approximately 800 cylinder recordings, 20,000 compact discs and 650,000 disc recordings including 250,000 LP albums, 250,000 45-rpm discs and 110,000 78-rpm records. A supporting collection of reference books, periodicals and various files is also maintained. Opportunities exist for students to work at the Popular Culture and Music Libraries.

Preparation for College

Aptitudes in any of the popular culture subject areas such as music, literature, folklore or film are a good indication of the student’s ability to perform well in college-level popular culture courses.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

Major Program (36 hours; minor required)

Required courses

Minor Program (21 hours)

Required courses

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Popular Culture, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: