May 21, 2022  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Appalachian Studies Certificate

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Students in any college may earn the Undergraduate Certificate in Appalachian Studies. The certificate is interdisciplinary (requiring course work in at least two colleges) and combines critical analysis with experiential education in the Appalachian region. The course work and practicum are tailored for each student in consultation with the program director to make the interdisciplinary certificate relevant to the student’s major, interests, and career plans.

A student planning a health science career might choose a practicum with the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard, Ky., for example, and a student interested in sustainable agriculture or elementary education might do a practicum with Green Forests Work, a reforestation and public education program in central Appalachia. The Appalachian Studies faculty spans ten colleges at UK and there are diverse courses available each semester to students enrolled in the certificate program.

The 12-hour certificate program focuses on understanding the Appalachian region, particularly Appalachian Kentucky, in historical, social/ cultural, physical, and comparative context. All students must: 1) complete APP 200 - INTRODUCTION TO APPALACHIAN STUDIES  (which also satisfies the UK Core requirement in U.S. citizenship); 2) to satisfy an Appalachian engagement requirement (either through APP 399 - PRACTICUM  course, or a relevant internship, service- learning course, or practicum in another program); and 3) to complete a capstone project either through APP 399 - PRACTICUM , or a course approved as the capstone experience by the Appalachian Studies Program Director.

Remaining courses may be chosen from the Appalachia-related course listings publicized on the Appalachian Studies website each term, or a student may propose additional courses with a rationale accepted by the Appalachian Studies Program Director. Course work for the undergraduate certificate must be taken from within at least two colleges at UK. This requirement is a significant offering of this certificate program, given the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program’s service to the entire university community. The purpose of the requirement is to encourage students to explore curricular possibilities outside the college in which their major is administratively housed, in a program of study truly committed to interdisciplinary perspectives.

Appalachian Studies Curriculum

The Certificate in Appalachian Studies curricula are as follows:

  • A minimum of 12 credits of course work taken for a letter grade.
  • At least 12 credits must be 200 level or above, and a minimum of 6 credits must be at the 300-level or above.
  • The student must complete a 3-credit breadth component. The breadth component requires that a student take courses in at least two colleges, with a minimum of three credits to be completed in a discipline other than the student’s major.
  • Student must earn a C or better in each required certificate course to receive the certificate.
  • Certificates will only be awarded to students who successfully complete a degree, or have completed a four-year degree.
  • No more than 9 credits taken for a certificate can be used to satisfy the requirements for the student’s bachelor’s degree, a minor, or another certificate, exclusive of free or unrestricted electives.

Examples of Programs of Study

Here are three examples of programs of study for students successfully completing the Appalachian Studies undergraduate certificate:

Engagement Requirement

This student could satisfy the engagement requirement through APP 399  at UK’s Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability in Breathitt County on youth agricultural entrepreneurship, and satisfy the capstone requirement through a paper for Community Interaction on participatory evaluation of a proposed economic development project in Appalachia.

Engagement Requirement and the Capstone Experience

This student could satisfy the engagement requirement and the capstone experience together by creating and implementing a program on the multicultural history of the banjo for students at a 4-H camp in the Appalachian region.


This student could satisfy the engagement requirement by serving as an Appalachian Center intern for the KY Riverkeeper, helping to create a waterways trail, and satisfy the capstone experience requirement through drafting a management plan for a forest in the Appalachian region.

For more information, contact: Appalachian Studies Associate Director, Kathryn Engle,; Room 204, 624 Maxwelton Court, 0347; 859-257-6882.

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