Cultural Studies, BA

Cultural Studies, BA

The Cultural Studies major is among the most flexible courses of study at the college. As the interdisciplinary liberal arts option at Columbia College Chicago, Cultural Studies serves students who seek the superior thinking and communications skills afforded by the liberal arts.

Degree Requirements

36 credits total, including 15 credits in the Cultural Studies core (Introduction to Cultural Studies, Cultural Theories, Methods of Inquiry in Cultural Studies, Critical Issues in Cultural Studies, Capstone Project in Cultural Studies) and 21 credits in your chosen concentration (Literary Studies, Media and Popular Culture Studies, or Urban Studies).

For more information about courses and to download four-year plans, visit the catalog.


As the cultural studies field is so wide ranging, a major in Cultural Studies opens many possible career options for our alumni. With the skills developed in the program for thinking deeply and writing compellingly about contemporary culture, Cultural Studies alumni are prepared to engage a wide range of careers, from community activism and organizing and teaching to documentary film production and research. Many alumni from our program have gone on to graduate school in an array of different fields, including African-American studies, anthropology, linguistics, psychology, sociology, and women’s and gender studies, among others.

Featured Alumna: Connie Calice (BA ’11)


The Cultural Studies faculty is an accomplished group of scholars. Their research into contemporary culture crosses traditional disciplinary borders, reflecting the breadth and diversity of Cultural Studies as a field of inquiry. Our faculty hail from a range of academic disciplines, including English, film studies, history, humanities, philosophy, and political science, among others. Your professors’ own compelling research interests infuse their teaching in ways that illuminate the culture around you.

Featured Faculty Member: Doug Reichert Powell

Doug Reichert Powell

Professor Doug Reichert Powell’s research takes him over the mountains and under the ground! His book project Endless Caverns: Travels beneath the Appalachian Valley explores the meaning of “show caves,” caverns that have been turned into tourist attractions. The first show cave in the United States opened in 1807 in the southern Appalachians. Part folk art, part business enterprise, show caves fit into broader patterns of American history and myth in fascinating ways. Powell’s research turns Cultural Studies theory into action, explaining the meanings that emerge when people use the earth itself as a medium.

More Faculty

  • Jaafar Aksikas

    Associate Professor


    624 S Michigan, Rm 13D, Suite 1300 (312) 369-8667

  • Sean Andrews

    Associate Professor


    624 S Michigan, Rm 1300-J(312) 369-3246

  • Andrew Causey

    Associate Professor


    624 S Michigan, Rm 900B(312) 369-7293

  • Luying Chen

    Assistant Professor


    624 S Michigan, Rm 1000(312) 369-7778

  • Carmelo Esterrich

    Associate Chair

    Associate Professor

    624 S Michigan, Rm 1000(312) 369-7525

  • Ann Gunkel

    Associate Professor


    624 S Michigan, Rm 1300F(312) 369-7527

  • Erin McCarthy

    Interim Chair

    Associate Professor

    624 S Michigan, Rm 1000(312) 369-7296

  • Rob Watkins

    Associate Professor


    624 S Michigan, Rm 1300-E(312) 369-6889

  • Michelle Yates

    Assistant Professor


    624 S Michigan, Rm 1000(312) 369-7382


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