Graduate Programs in American Studies

Ph.D. Certificate in American Studies

As an interdisciplinary field, American Studies is devoted to studying U.S. culture and its relationship to the world beyond its borders. This certificate provides advanced training in this interdiscipline while helping graduate students to become more capacious in their teaching and research.  Working toward this certificate will provide junior scholars a space to think outside of their disciplines and to craft a genuinely multi-modal dissertation project.


Twelve credit hours of coursework at the 5000/6000-level, approved by the Director of American Studies, which shall include the following:

  • AMST 6000: American Studies: Methods and Major Texts (3 credits).  Cross-listed as ENGL 6800 and HIST 6000
  • AMST 6500: American Studies: Special Topics (3 credits).  Cross-listed as ENGL 6850 and HIST 6500
  • two courses (6 credits) listed outside the student’s home department or which are explicitly multidisciplinary in focus. “American Studies: Special Topics” may be counted for one of these two courses if taken a second time with a different topic. The American Studies program maintains a list of courses that are pre-approved to satisfy this requirement for students enrolled outside the department that houses the course.  The Director may approve other courses in addition to those that are pre-approved.

Master’s Concentration in American Studies

Graduate students may earn a concentration in American Studies at the Master’s level.

Students who wish to earn the Master’s level area of concentration in American Studies must first be admitted to one of the participating fields of study: English, History, or Political Science. The student then informs his or her major advisor and the Director of American Studies of the intention to pursue the concentration.

The student must complete all of the degree requirements of the home field of study. During this process, the student would take two graduate-level courses outside of that field. To earn the concentration, the student must write an interdisciplinary thesis on a topic approved by the major advisor and the Director of American Studies. The membership of the advisory committee must include one member from outside the home field of study. This committee advises the student during the writing of the thesis and approves it as acceptable for the American Studies concentration.