Appalachian Studies Program

Appalachian Studies (minor)

“The Appalachian region is one that is full of deeply rooted culture, land, and ideas. Learning about all of these things this semester has allowed me to learn more about the history behind the place that I have the privilege to call home and gain a greater understanding of it.” –  Appalachian Studies 211 Student

Do you love the mountains? Are you interested in culture, music, history?

Do you ever look around a place and wonder just what it is that makes that place special and why things are the way they are?

Join us and explore the history, culture and natural environment of southern Appalachia and the wealth of cultural and natural resources right in MHU’s backyard. Click here for an online exhibit created by students in AS 344: Creative Traditions in Southern Appalachia to learn a bit about the culture here.

Appalachian Studies is interdisciplinary – that means that you’ll have the chance to take classes from lots of different departments for this minor, including Appalachian Studies, Biology, History, and Religion.

Appalachian Studies is an ideal complement to any major and is especially recommended for any student who wishes to:

  • Develop the skills to study the culture, history, or environment of any region, worldwide;
  • Understand the forces that shape regions;
  • Have a career that depends upon a nuanced understanding of a particular place or community.

Appalachian Studies minors are eligible to apply for the James H. Montgomery Appalachian Studies Scholarship, which involves service hours in the Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies and an outside organization in the region. Minors often also help put on the annual Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival.

Core courses include:

  • AS 211: Introduction to Appalachian Studies
  • AS 344: Creative Traditions in Southern Appalachia
  • AS 345: Oral History Practicum
  • BIO 214: Natural History of the Southern Appalachians
  • ENG 340: Appalachian Literature
  • REL 343: Religion in Appalachia

For more information, contact Program Coordinator Leila Weinstein: (828) 689-1115 or


Young woman receiving banjo tips from another woman while a young man looks on

Appalachian Studies student Darian Smathers gets banjos tips from musician Susi Gott SĂ©guret. To learn more about southern Appalachian creative traditions, click here.


MHU Student Jaime Kelly with poets Frank X Walker and Shauna M. Morgan at the 2019 Appalachian Studies Association Conference.

Harvest Party potluck with heirloom veggies.









Young woman outside holding a freshly picked ramp

Appalachian Studies student Taylor Zima holding a freshly-dug ramp.