FAQs

faqsHow do I declare an LCST major/minor?

Declaration forms (as well as those for Interdisciplinary Honors and Independent Study) are available on the Charles Center website.You also need a copy of your DARS report in order to complete the standard "Declaration of Major(s)" form for the Registrar's Office. Before filling out these forms, you should make an appointment with the LCST and Film Studies Director, Ann Marie Stock, [[amstoc]]. She can talk you through the process, give advice on what courses you should consider, or suggest someone who could serve as an advisor for your program. If you're thinking of majoring in the Cultural Studies track, you should first consider what components you would use to build up a specialized program of study: specific courses or disciplines that work together as a combined approach to your topic. Some options here include a comparative study of different literatures or cultures (typically involving the study of texts in other languages); bringing a set of disciplinary perspectives to bear on a particular topic or period (such as the Renaissance, modernism or sexuality); and studying a topic in a range of media or cultural forms (e.g. in literature, film, art and advertising).

When should I declare my major?

It is recommended that you declare by the end of your sophomore year. Some classes (e.g. LCST 301) are closed to seniors, while priority for registration in LCST 201 will be given to freshman and sophomores. Thus, a natural progression would mean taking either LCST 201 or FILM 150/250 as introductory courses during your first two years, followed by LCST 301/302 in the junior year, and the 401 seminar afterwards.

What courses are required for my major?

The Cultural Studies track requires completion of the 4 core courses (201, 301, 302, 401) plus a coherent group of courses which collectively enable you to complete the track you've designed for yourself. Since the major is a minimum of 36 hours, this will usually mean at least 8 elective courses, in addition to the required core courses. Of those 36 hours, no more than 7 can be numbered at the 200-level or below - and since 201 is required, this means only one other lower-division class can count to your major. If you are applying to the Cultural Studies track, you will need to submit--along with your list of courses-a title and description of your proposed course of study (roughly one page long).

The Film Studies track requires you to take the core courses in the film program (either FILM 150W or 250, FILM 251, and FILM 306 or its equivalent) in addition to LCST 302 and 401. The rest of the track consists of elective credit, of which at least 9 hours must be in film studies, with the total number of credits totaling a minimum of 36 hours. Of those 36 hours, no more than 11 can be numbered at the 200-level or below - and since 150/250 and 251 are required, this means only one other lower-division class can count to your major.

What other courses can I count as elective credits towards my major?

Except for the requirements and limits listed above, any other class can (in theory) be counted towards an LCST degree, provided you can make a case for it in your proposed program of study. If you are a double major, William and Mary allows you to count up to two courses towards both degrees.

How should I decide on a program of study?

You should decide on your program in consultation with the LCST faculty, based upon your own interests and advice you get about the relevant and available courses.

Can I make changes to my program? How?

Yes. You're not expected to follow your proposed program of study exactly, especially since new and one-time courses may be offered and your interests may develop in new directions once you begin. Your advisor can fill out a form on which you request changes and give your reasons, and these are usually approved. If the changes constitute a radical change of emphasis, however, you may be asked to write up a new course of study and explain its rationale.

Who will serve as my advisor?

When you declare, you should select an advisor whose interests are closer to your own from among the LCST faculty--but make sure to check with that person first! It's a good idea to be meeting with that person as soon as possible in the process, as s/he can give you more detailed information and advice about what courses are available and relevant to your course of study. In special circumstances, and with the agreement of the LCST director and the faculty member, you can desginate an advisor who is not on the Advisory Committee.

How do I get credit for courses taken elsewhere, including Study Abroad?

Because of its comparative and interdisciplinary nature, the LCST program encourages you to study abroad. (Current graduates have studied in places like Australia, Scotland, Spain, and France, and others are also planning to do so). It's a good idea to plan your studies in advance and to talk over your plans with people in the Reves Center for International Studies. You must get prior approval for the courses you want to take-especially since this will probably also involve changing your program of study. There is no guarantee that courses will be approved for transfer credits after the fact. Courses will only count toward your major/minor if there is an equivalent course at William and Mary-in practice, this often means that they will transfer as LCST 351 (Special Topics), assuming that instruction is at the appropriate level.

Can I write an honors thesis in LCST? How do I go about it?

LCST honors is co-ordinated through the Charles Center, but we offer our own sequence of honors credits (LCST 495-496) for seniors. To be considered, you need either a 3.0 cumulative GPA or a 3.0 for the junior year alone, and the approval of the LCST Advisory Commitee and a faculty member who is willing to work with you on the project. Since all of this has to be approved by the end of the junior year, you should already have met with agreed with her/him on the topic and a timetable for completion. Read more about honors, and a suggested timeline. Also see the departmental honors page on the Charles Center website.

How do I register for an independent study?

As with any Honors project, you first need to meet with a faculty member and agree upon a timetable and course of study. You will need to fill out a form, available from the Charles Center website, and get the approval of the LCST Director. The form and related documentation is then turned in to the Charles Center.

What can I do with an LCST degree?

By and large, LCST graduates go into the same fields as most other humanities majors: teaching, publishing, law school, governmental or social programs, as well as a wide variety of graduate programs (including English, comparative literature, creative writing, rhetoric, anthropology, information studies and museum education.) Of course, ours is not a narrowly vocational program, not least because we try not to put limits on what you can and can't study. For those reasons, students in graduate programs sometimes report starting out at a disadvantage; but an LCST degree can also open up other possibilities for work and study that might not have presented themselves to other majors, in part because you are encouraged to think synthetically and across the traditional disciplines. Our alumni comment that an interdisciplinary degree has better prepared them to think critically, approach problems from a series of different perspectives, to teach in a variety of fields, write in different rhetorical modes and make cocktail party conversation. For a listing of recent graduates and updates of what they are currently doing, see alumni.