M.A. in American Studies

About our MA Program

American Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study, rooted in the comprehensive analysis of national and transnational political and popular culture. Dating back to the 1940s, the work of American Studies bridges discipline-bound departments and divisions in the modern university. Our scholarship and our teaching extend beyond campuses to communities of all sorts, and beyond nations to transnational populations, here in the United States and elsewhere. 

Our department began as a graduate program in 1945 and consistently ranks at the top. Our graduate training focuses especially on social justice, community engagement, structural racism and inequality, recovery of historical silences, American empire, public art, and public history, to name a few thematic foci.  Our pedagogy embraces work that moves beyond the textual to the visual, material, and performative. And our faculty are engaged teachers and dynamic mentors.

Building on these strengths, our MA program is cohort-centered and community-based. Our students come from across the country and generally complete the degree in one year while in residence here in Providence. They seek to explore a particular specialization in scholarship, add intellectual depth to their existing professional or academic life, determine if they want to continue on to a Ph.D. program, or to prepare for doctoral work. 

Our alums go on to competitive doctoral programs, law school, non-profit work, research positions, secondary teaching, journalism, activism, and corporate positions, and we believe that as a consequence of their work at Brown they are better prepared to see their work realized within meaningful local, national, and global contexts.

American Studies also offers a 5th year MA for Brown undergraduates who wish to pursue graduate work. A standard MA curriculum is 8 credits. 5th year MA students may apply up to two undergraduate courses taken at Brown toward this curriculum. Generally, these classes would count outside of the requirements for a number of courses taught with the "AMST" prefix or above the 2000 level. Like the regular MA, the 5th year MA is designed to be completed in one year. 

Our Curriculum:

Click here.

Financial Support: 

The department is able to offer modest fellowships to all accepted students to partially defray the cost of an MA degree at Brown.  

To Apply: 

 Go online to Brown University Graduate School “Application Information” page. (www.brown.edu/academics/gradschool/application-information).

A complete application must include 1) a Personal Statement describing yourself and your academic interest, 2) a Writing Sample, 3) three Letters of Recommendation from those familiar with your academic work, 4) College Transcripts, and 5) TOEFL/IELTS scores for non-native English speakers.  The GRE is not required.

Applications for international students will be accepted until May 1, and applications for domestic students will be accepted until May 1. Admission to this program is a rolling basis and applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Special information for international applicants can be found here.

For questions, contact: [email protected]