Critical Theory (Graduate Certificate)

Prepare yourself for advanced study in a number of areas, including English, linguistics, philosophy, African American studies, women and gender studies, law, history, politics and sustainability. When you've completed this certificate, you also are prepared for businesses and industries that require effective explanation and analysis of complex ideas, texts and systems.

Program Description

Certificate Awarded: Critical Theory (Graduate Certificate)

The graduate certificate program in critical theory provides students advanced study in critical and contemporary theory. It promotes the skills required to use and interpret concepts from continental philosophy and theoretical trends from the last two centuries. The program also offers tools for creating a critical engagement with society and for producing new cultural texts and ideas.

Critical theory encompasses a broad range of disciplines including the arts, humanities, social sciences, and technical and physical sciences. Students have access to a wide variety of courses that apply toward the certificate.

At a Glance: program details

Degree Requirements

Required Core (3 credit hours)
ENG 502 Contemporary Critical Theories (3)

Electives (12 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (0 credit hours)
portfolio (0)

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose
  4. resume or curriculum vitae
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency. Specific details about English proficiency requirements are available on the Department of English website.

International students who need an F1 or J1 visa first need to apply to and be accepted into a graduate degree program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the USA on other types of visas must adhere to all Graduate College policies and procedures regarding admission to be considered for admission to this certificate program.

The graduate certificate in critical theory is available to all ASU graduate students irrespective of their major, as well as to nondegree graduate students and working professionals provided they meet eligibility criteria. Sample majors include English; women and gender studies; art history; and arts, media and engineering.

Eligible applicants must have taken two courses in critical theory or a related field at the upper-division undergraduate level (such as ENG 401 Topics in Critical Theory) or at the graduate level (such as ENG 502 Contemporary Critical Theories).

Career Opportunities

Writers and other content professionals are in demand today, not only in traditional print media, but also on digital platforms. Critical theory provides valuable skills in logical argument and conceptual analysis that are useful across the media spectrum, from scholarly writing to popular magazines and websites with social, cultural and political themes. Students of critical theory also are increasingly involved in multimedia work and technologies, such as AI, in both academic and commercial innovative institutional ventures, such as tech start-ups.

Career examples include:

  • analyst for cultural tech company
  • content provider for social media
  • freelance cultural critic (on- and offline)
  • grass-roots activist
  • instructor in critical theory, cultural studies or media studies
  • political strategist or campaign worker
  • writer in marketing and advertising

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With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Program Contact Information

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