MA Curriculum

Our MA curriculum consists of eight courses, typically spread over one year in two semesters, and an ungraded and reflective ePortfolio, created at the end of the second semester.  

Two specific courses are required: 

AMST 2020: “Introduction to Interdisciplinary American Studies,” which examines the broad range of topics, methods, and theories used by recently published authors in American Studies.  This course familiarizes students with the historical trajectory of the discipline of American Studies, the interdisciplinary methods and engaged scholarship currently defining the discipline, as well as topical areas central to American Studies. This class is offered in the fall semester.

AMST 2525: The capstone class, in which the students work with American Studies faculty to complete an interdisciplinary research paper or project of their choice. This class is offered in the spring semester.

Beyond these two specific courses, students must take six additional classes. There is considerable flexibility here, in terms of what students can and should take, but there are also a few requirements to watch out for:

Including those two required courses (AMST 2020 and AMST 2525), no fewer than four of the eight required courses must be offered through American Studies (with an AMST prefix).

The other four must be offered through cognate units, programs, or departments (such as Ethnic Studies, English, History, Africana Studies, Modern Culture and Media, Theater Arts and Performance Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Anthropology, and Music.

And five of the eight required courses must be offered at the graduate level       (numbered 2000+). 

An ungraded ePortfolio related to the student’s research interests is also required. completed at the end of the year. At a minimum, the portfolio consists of: a one-page statement of the student’s academic focus for the year; a related annotated bibliography of at least twenty items (not necessarily all textual); at least two papers or essays completed during their coursework. 

We have no thesis requirement, but students interested in writing a longer research essay may choose – with the consent of their advisor and a sponsoring faculty member - to develop an extended paper/project over two semesters.