What is American Studies?
A transdisciplinary field of study, embracing Inter-American societies and cultures.
What do people in American Studies focus their research on?
Our major fields focus around six areas:
- Culture,Work and Consumerism
- Identity, Citizenship and Social Formations
- Media, Communications and Expressive Culture
- Social and Political Theory
- Urban, Suburban and Community Studies
Do all people accepted get funding?
Students admitted to the PhD program each receive funding from the Graduate School of Arts and Science as a five-year MacCracken Fellowship. The MacCracken financial aid package consists of two parts. The first part is a scholarship to cover the tuition, registration, and services fees for your degree program as well as student health insurance. The second part is a stipend toward your expenses. In addition, you receive a one-time $1,000 start-up stipend to help with the costs of beginning your studies.
Is teaching required in order to receive funding?
Teaching will not be a condition of your receiving the financial aid provided through the MacCracken Fellowship. However, teaching is encouraged and compensated with an additional stipend.
How many years does it take to complete a PhD in American Studies?
Students generally take 5-6 years to complete their degree regardless of entering the program with an M.A.. Teaching, fellowships and a Funding Reserve program often help supplement funding of their 6th year of study.
How do I apply to the program?
You can apply to the program by going to the GSAS Application Resource Center. There you can link to the online application.
What are the minimum GRE scores needed to apply?
GRE general test not required. Please do not send us GRE test scores. If you do, while the Graduate School will notify you that the scores were received, the scores will not be reviewed or considered by the department's Admissions Committee.
Do I have to have a MA to apply to your program?
No, an MA is not required to apply to this program.
How do I set up an appointment with one of your professors?
We cannot make appointments for prospective students, due to the high volume of student inquiries. We suggest that you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to answer your questions as quickly as possible. If accepted into the program, we will arrange interviews with faculty.
I have a BA in Biology, can I apply to American Studies?
Yes, with the following caveat: while your undergraduate degree could be in a field like Biology we would advise you to seriously review our major fields to see if your research interests fall into those six areas.
Can I apply to American Studies and the Law School?
We do not have any joint degree programs within American Studies.
How long does my writing sample have to be?
The writing sample should be 15-25 pages of a short paper or small section from a larger thesis or work. Submit any piece of sociocultural analysis, indicating a clear capacity for interdisciplinary study and research.
When is the application deadline?
The application deadline is December 18th.
When will admissions decisions be made?
Applications are reviewed beginning early January. Most decisions will be mailed out by early March. Admissions letters are sent by the Graduate School of Arts & Science via email.
Can I speak to any current students?
Due to the high volume of applicant inquiries, students are generally not available for information sessions. If you are accepted into the program, we will arrange interviews with the students. You may review the Graduate Student Profiles on our web page and email them directly if their contact information is listed.
Can I speak or arrange a meeting with faculty?
You can review the Faculty Profiles on our web page, however, due to the high volume of applicant inquiries, faculty may not be available to speak until after admission decisions have been made.
I have a MA, will my credits transfer?
In principle, you can transfer up to 32 points of credit. In practice, the decision about how credit can be transferred will be made by the Director of Graduate Studies after you have completed several courses in the program.
Are you a Masters or Doctorate program?
The American Studies Program is a doctoral-track program, and not a terminal M.A. degree. If you are interested in a terminal M.A., please see our master's program in Social and Cultural Analysis.
Is there a foreign language requirement?
Yes, a foreign language requirement is required for the degree (note that this is NOT an application requirement). Matriculated students must have a reading proficiency (minimum intermediate level) in one foreign language. Previous language credit may be applied if the grades received were a B or better, and taken no more than two years before the first semester of enrollment in GSAS. The GSAS Office of Academic and Student Life administers the Foreign Language Proficiency Exam in November, March, and August.
What is the Program's record for job placement?
Most of our graduates are placed in academic positions. As of 2017 approximately 50% are Tenure Track Faculty; 25% Non-Tenure Track faculty/Academic Staff; 25% other research appointments/post-doctoral appointments, etc. Some are placed in museums or other cultural and civic institutions.