Graduate Program

The Great Plains Studies interdepartmental area of specialization fosters the study of people and the environment in the sparsely populated Great Plains. This vast region stretches westward from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains, and northward from the Rio Grande into the Canadian prairie provinces. The specialization is facilitated through the College of Arts and Sciences by the Center for Great Plains Studies, the oldest and largest interdisciplinary, intercollegiate, regional research and teaching center in the United States, and the only interdisciplinary program chartered by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents for all campuses of the University.

Objective

The objective of the Great Plains Studies Interdepartmental Area of Specialization is to provide an understanding of the complex and unique features of the Great Plains. It is anticipated that students interested in this specialization may wish to pursue careers in some aspect of the Plains region such as agriculture, anthropology, architecture, art history, communication, cultural traditions, economics, education, geography, history and historical archives, natural resource sciences, community planning, policy analysis, various types of scientific research, textile research, and include a knowledge of regional literary accomplishments.

Resources

The Center for Great Plains Studies offers access to the Great Plains Art Museum’s research library at 1155 Q Street, Hewit Place. This resource contains 6,400 volumes of western Americana and includes 1,100 books on Canadian Plains topics.

Faculty

The specialization includes faculty working within the Center and the Center’s 200+ Fellows, drawn from the University of Nebraska’s four campuses. Primary Center faculty are James Stubbendieck, J. Clark Archer, Charles Braithwaite, Robert F. Diffendal Jr. (Emeritus), Richard Edwards, Stephen Lavin, Gary Moulton, David Wishart, and George Wolf (Emeritus).
Advisory committee: Professors Archer, Brandle, Crews, Hayden, Horst, Kaye, R. Lee, Scholz, Supalla, Swinehart, Winkle; Associate Professors Ertl, Parsons,and S. Wunder

Course offerings

The masters degree requires nine (9) credit hours of Great Plains Studies courses from departments outside the student’s major department. For the doctoral degree, fifteen (15) credit hours are required. The total credit hours must include the Center’s Seminar in Great Plains Studies (GPSP 800, 3 cr). The Center also offers an internship (GPSP 895, 1-6 cr).

Admission to the program
  1. Student files will be reviewed for admission to the participating departmental or interdepartmental program.
  2. Following acceptance by the Graduate Committee, the student’s files will be forwarded to the Specialization Advisory Committee for admission to the Great Plains Studies specialization. * Note: One member of the student’s examining committee should be a Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies.
Careers

Students interested in this specialization may wish to acquire an inclusive knowledge of regional literature and to pursue careers in some aspect of the Great Plains region such as agriculture, anthropology, architecture, communication, cultural traditions, economics, education, geography, history and historical archives, museum management, natural resource sciences, community planning, and various types of scientific research including textile research.

MASTERS

Program Requirements

A masters-level specialization in Great Plains Studies is available to any student accepted to pursue a master's degree within a participating department or program. Successful completion of the requirements will be indicated on the student's final transcript in parentheses following name of the student's academic discipline. For example: Community and Regional Planning (Great Plains Studies).

The masters degree will be granted in one of the basic disciplines. The student must be formally registered in one of the departments giving approval to offer the option of the specialization.

Admission to the program will follow a two-step process. Student files will be reviewed for admission to the participating departmental program. Following acceptance by the Graduate Committee, the student's files will be forwarded to the Board of Governors of the Center for Great Plains Studies for admission to the Great Plains specialization. One member of the student's examining committee will be a Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Each student will be required to complete:

  1. A masters degree in one of the participating departments or programs 
  2. Nine (9) credit hours of great plains related courses from departments outside the student's major department as listed in the specialization program
  3. The 9 credit hours must include the Seminar in Great Plains Studies (GPSP 800, 3 cr) 
  4. Under any Option (I, II, or III) there should be a Great Plains component. For instance, when a student completes Option I (thesis), that thesis should present some issue/s relevant to the Great Plains

Participating departments

Agricultural Economics
Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication
Agronomy
Anthropology/Geography
Architecture
Communication Studies
Community and Regional Planning
Economics
English
Geosciences
History
Natural Resource Sciences
Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education
Textiles, Clothing and Design

DOCTORAL

Program Requirements

A doctoral-level specialization is available to any student accepted to pursue a Ph.D. degree within any of the participating departments. Successful completion of the requirements will be indicated on the student's final transcript in parentheses following the name of the student's academic discipline. For example: English (Great Plains Studies).

The doctoral degree will be granted in one of the basic disciplines. The student must be formally registered in one of the departments giving approval to offer the option of the specialization.

Admission to the program will follow a two-step process. Student files will be reviewed for admission to the participating departmental program. Following acceptance by the Graduate Committee, student files will be forwarded to the Board of Governors of the Center for Great Plains Studies for admission to the Great Plains specialization. One member of the student's examining committee will be a Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Each student will be required to complete:

  1. A doctoral degree in one of the participating departments or programs
  2. Fifteen (15) credit hours of great plains related courses from departments outside the student's major department as listed in the specialization program. No more than six (6) hours should be in one department
  3. The 15 credit hours must include the Seminar in Great Plains Studies (GPSP 800, 3 cr)
  4. The dissertation should present some issue/s relevant to the Great Plains

Participating departments

Agricultural Economics
Agronomy
Communication Studies
Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education
Economics
English
Geography
Geosciences
History
Natural Resource Sciences
Textiles, Clothing and Design.

GRADUATE COURSES

Great Plains Studies

800 Seminar in Great Plains Studies
895 Internship in Great Plains Studies

Agricultural Economics

AECN 832 Economics of Agricultural Production
AECN 856 Environmental Law
AECN 857 Water Law
AECN 865 Resource & Environmental Economics II
AECN 868 Advanced Resource & Environmental Economics
Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication
ALEC 801 Theoretical Foundations of Leadership
ALEC 810 Environmental Leadership: A Historical and Ethical Perspective
ALEC 833 Planning and Implementation of Cooperative Extension Programs for Domestic and Foreign Audiences
ALEC 901 Leading Change in Rural America and Beyond

Agronomy and Horticulture

AGRO 808 Microclimate: The Biological Environment (GEOG/NRES 808)
AGRO 835 Agroecology (NRES 835)
AGRO 840 Great Plains Ecosystems
AGRO 842 Wildland Plants
AGRO 844 Vegetation Analysis
AGRO 845 Livestock Management on Range and Pasture
AGRO 850 Climate and Society (GEOG/METR 850, NRES 852)
AGRO 875 Water Quality Strategy (CRPL 875, NRES 875)
AGRO 877 Great Plains Field Pedology (GEOG 867, NRES 877)
AGRO 881 Water Resources Seminar (GEOG 881, NRES 815)
HORT 909 Crop Responses to the Environment (AGRO/NRES 909)

Anthropology and Geography

ANTH 816 Topics in Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 819 Art & Anthropology of Native North America
ANTH 833 North American Archaeology
ANTH 834 An Introduction to Plains Archaeology
ANTH 851 Indians of Contemporary North America
ANTH 854 Traveling Ethnographic Field School
ANTH 876 Human Rights, Environment, and Development
ANTH 880 Advanced Fieldwork
ANTH 883 Advanced Field Methods
ANTH 896 Special Readings in Anthropology
ANTH 898 Advanced Current Topics in Anthropology
ANTH 953 Seminar in Anthropology and Geography (GEOG 933)
GEOG 850 Climate and Society (AGRO/METR 850, NRES 852)
GEOG 877 Great Plains Field Pedology (AGRO/NRES 877)
GEOG 881 Water Resources Seminar (AGRO 881, NRES/GEOL 815)
GEOG 933 Seminar in Geography and Anthropology (ANTH 953)
GEOG 935 Seminar in Historical Geography: Great Plains

Architecture

IDES 860 Preservation and Conservation of Historic Interiors
ARCH 848 Architecture of the Great Plains
ARCH 860 Environmental Survey and Analysis (CRPL 872)
ARCH 863 Architectural Preservation

Art and Art History

AHIS 898 Special Topics: American Art & Regionalism; Great Plains

Biological Sciences

BIOS 855 Great Plains Flora
BIOS 859 Limnology (NRES 859)
BIOS 864 Fisheries Biology (NRES 864)
BIOS 870 Prairie Ecology
BIOS 882 Field Entomology
BIOS 887 Field Parasitology
BIOS 888 Natural History of the Invertebrates
BIOS 891 Ichthyology (NRES 889)
BIOS 894 Ornithology

Communication Studies

COMM 830 Political Communication
COMM 950B Seminar in Intercultural Communication
COMM 985 Cultural Criticism

Community and Regional Planning

CRPL 800 Introduction to Planning
CRPL 804 Legal Aspects of Planning
CRPL 860 Planning and Design in the Built Environment
CRPL 870 Environmental Planning & Policy
CRPL 872 Environmental Survey & Analysis (ARCH 860)
CRPL 875 Water Quality Strategy (AGRO/GEOL/NRES 875)
CRPL 877 Recreation & Park Planning
CRPL 880 Economic Development Planning
CRPL 895H Selected Topics: Housing: Issue & Innovations
CRPL 895Q Selected Topics: Historic Preservation Planning
CRPL 895T Selected Topics: Issues in Community Transit Planning
CRPL 896 Special Problems: Rural & Small Town Planning

Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education

CURR 925E Seminar in the Curriculum and Teaching of Social Studies: Great Plains

Department of Economics

ECON 840 Regional Development
ECON 842 Regional Analysis
ECON 857 US Economic History: 19th Century
ECON 858 US Economic History: 20th Century
ECON 871 Public Finance
ECON 872 Efficiency in Government

English

ENGL 805K Canadian Fiction
ENGL 811B Plains Literature
ENGL 845K Ethnic Literature: Native American Literature
ENGL 911 Seminars in Great Plains Literature
ENGL 933B Seminar in American Authors since 1900: Willa Cather

Geosciences

GEOL 815 Water Resources Seminar (AGRO/GEOG 881, NRES 815)
GEOL 823 Quaternary Ecology and Climate
GEOL 850 Surficial Processes and Landscape Evolution
GEOL 875 Water Quality Strategy (AGRO/CRPL/NRES 875)
GEOL 881 Environmental and Urban Geology
GEOL 888 Groundwater Geology (NRES 888)
GEOL 889 Hydrogeology (NRES 887)
GEOL 929 Mesozoic and Cenozoic Stratigraphy
GEOL 934 Site Analysis in Vertebrate Paleontology
GEOL 935 Cenozoic Vertebrate Paleoecology
GEOL 953 Glacial Geology
METR 850 Climate and Society (AGRO/GEOG 850, NRES 852)

History

HIST 852 American Frontier in the Nineteenth Century
HIST 864 Native American History: Selected Topics
HIST 865 History of Plains Indians
HIST 889L Directed Readings: History of the Great Plains
HIST 889J Directed Readings: The History and Culture of the American Indian

Natural Resource Sciences

NRES 808 Microclimate: The Biological Environment (AGRO/GEOG 808)
NRES 815 Water Resources Seminar (AGRO/GEOG 881, GEOL 815)
823 Integrated Resource Management
835 Agroecology (AGRO 835)
NRES 850 Biology of Wildlife Populations
NRES 852 Climate and Society (AGRO/GEOG/METR 850)
859 Limnology (BIOS 859)
NRES 864 Fisheries Biology (BIOS 892)
NRES 868 Wetlands
NRES 875 Water Quality Strategy (AGRO/CRPL/GEOL 875) NRES 877 Great Plains Field Pedology (AGRO/GEOG 877)
NRES 887 Hydrogeology (GEOL 889)
NRES 888 Groundwater Geology (GEOL 888)
NRES 889 Ichthyology

Textiles, Clothing and Design

TXCD 978 Seminar in Textile History