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The American Studies track of the MA in Liberal Arts offers students the opportunity to study the social relations and cultural patterns that have both unified and divided Americans over time. Topics include popular and elite cultures; the material and technological foundations of American society; cultural heroines and heroes; and the values, ideals, and lifestyles of ordinary people as well as those of recognized historical figures. Students learn how to analyze a broad range of texts, including literature, art, film, and material culture, for evidence of these patterns in American life and culture.


Curriculum Requirements

The MA in Liberal Arts requires a minimum of 33 credit hours. The American Studies track consists of:

  • Core Courses (15 credit hours)
    • HUM 6814: Introduction to Graduate Study
    • AMS 6156: Theories and Methods of Cultural Studies
    • AMS 6254: Cultural Era
    • AMS 6805: Enduring Questions in American Culture
    • AMS 6938: Research Seminar
  • Elective Courses (12 credit hours)
    • 12 credit hours of AMS or HUM elective courses; up to 6 of these credit hours can be taken outside the department. All course choices should be made in consulation with the Graduate Advisor.
  • Thesis (6 credit hours): AMS 6971
    • Students must write a thesis of between 40 to 80 pages in length and conduct an oral thesis defense to complete the degree. Students will be required to write and orally defend a thesis proposal prior to beginning the thesis process.

Normal time-to-degree for a full-time student is two years, typically including some credits taken during the intervening summer.

For more information about the American Studies track of the MA in Liberal Arts, contact the director of graduate studies, Dr. Amy Rust.