The Culture and Politics (CULP) major trains students to examine critically the complex relationship between culture, knowledge, and power. It teaches students theoretical frameworks and analytical skills that help them understand the systems of power that have shaped the modern world, foster their cross-cultural tolerance, and empower them with intellectual and ethical tools to improve a world marked by power hierarchies and cultural conflicts.

The Undergraduate Bulletin

It is the responsibility of each student to keep well-informed with respect to the policies and requirements in the Undergraduate Bulletin and all other policies of the University, school, and program in which they are enrolled. Any updates made to the Undergraduate Bulletin will be communicated to students.

Read more about the CULP major on the Georgetown Undergraduate Bulletin.

Dean & Field Chair Anchor

Dean & Field Chair

Curricular Deans provide guidance tailored to each student by connecting their interests with academic backgrounds, academic and non-academic opportunities, and faculty expertise, while guiding academic and personal development.

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Shiloh R. Krupar

Shiloh R. Krupar

Field Chair for CULP

Curricular Requirements Anchor

Curricular Requirements

The curricular requirements for the CULP major are as follows:

  • Theorizing Culture and Politics (CULP-045)
  • Four (4) CULP Core courses (these can come from outside the CULP department)
  • Five (5) courses in the student’s thematic concentration (chosen in consultation with the CULP dean)

Note: Classes taken in the major must come from at least two different academic departments.

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Courses in the Major

To find the most up to date list of classes, as well as past semester course lists, visit MyAccess and take the following steps:

  • MyAccess > Student Services > Registration > Schedule of Classes > Select Term >
  • In the subject menu, select Culture & Politics
  • Scroll down and click the Class Search button

Writing in the Major

CULP students will satisfy the University’s Integrated Writing requirement through the required gateway class (CULP-045). Because CULP is an interdisciplinary major, CULP students will satisfy the University’s Integrated Writing requirement through the required gateway class (CULP-045). Because CULP is an interdisciplinary major, there is no one methodology or writing genre that students must master. The self-designed concentration may require a combination of discipline-specific methodologies or writing strategies housed in the SFS and the College, and students are encouraged to find additional opportunities to hone their writing skills throughout their coursework.

Honors in the Major

The standards and expectations for honors-quality work are consistent with the ideal that students completing Honors in the Major are among the premier thinkers and writers at Georgetown.

In order to graduate with honors in CULP, a student must:

  • Earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.33 and a grade point average of 3.67 in the major by the date of graduation.
  • Submit, and gain approval for, a thesis proposal outlining the research project.
  • Successfully complete two (2) semesters of tutorial work dedicated to the preparation of the thesis.
  • Submit a senior thesis on an approved topic that is judged to be of honors quality by a faculty committee appointed for this purpose.
Senior Thesis Anchor

Senior Thesis

Students submit a senior thesis on an approved topic that is judged to be of honors quality by a faculty committee appointed after completing two (2) semesters of tutorial work dedicated to the preparation of the thesis.

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Defining A Research Question

Consider a question that is centrally focused on the intersection of Culture and Politics (see  CULP Mission Statement). Student research should make a meaningful contribution to our understanding of the relation between Culture and Politics. For example, students should choose a topic that they have discovered in scholarly literature which they want to explore in more detail or a topic that emerges from theoretically sophisticated reflections on their own experiences.

Beginning with the initial proposal, students will need to be in regular conversation with their faculty mentor about their project. This may include periodic progress reports required by the CULP Honors Committee.

Define a clear and coherent theoretical framework in which to explore the topic. Ideally, students will have taken a social science or humanities research methods course prior to application. If this is not possible, they will need to work closely with a faculty member to develop a coherent framework.

Institutional Review Board Approval

If any part of student research design involves research involving other people (interviews, surveys, etc.) and they might want to publish the results of this research in the future in an article, book, report, or other documents that can be consulted by the general public, students must go through the IRB review process before their application.

Choosing a Faculty Mentor

Many professors do not respond to email inquiries as quickly as students wish they would. Before students email a professor they have never met:

  • Develop a list of potential research questions (see “defining the question”).
  • Read the professor’s own work on the topic.
  • Identify sources you might utilize.

To increase the chances of receiving a helpful and timely response, students should frame an initial message to a potential mentor with care. They need to show that they have already given their thesis question thought, and are now looking to the professor for guidance.

  • Students should Introduce themselves and explain why they are writing and how they discovered that this professor might be the right mentor for their project.
  • Outline the research question(s) and the reasoning behind them. If students know their proposed project will require special skills (language ability, experience with statistics, etc.) make sure to tell the professor that they possess them. If students have already drafted a proposal, include it.
  • Describe briefly the research  already done.
  • Ask for specific information. Has this question already been answered in the literature?
  • Are there enough resources locally to complete this project? Would it be better to approach this question from another angle? Does the professor have colleagues at Georgetown or elsewhere who might be helpful?
  • Explain the timeline – ask if the professor could respond in a given time frame. Students may want to offer to call the professor during office hours if a personal conversation would be more useful than an e-mail exchange. If they have only a few weeks to develop their proposal, acknowledge that they are starting late, and ask whether the professor would be able to read a draft and provide comments soon enough for the student to submit the final proposal on time.

Do not expect the professor to agree to be a mentor until the student has given him or her an actual proposal.