Please see the NYU GSAS General Application Policies.
A total of 32 points of course credit—at least 24 taken in residence at NYU—is required for the MA degree.
MA students must complete the introductory Proseminar in American Studies and Strategies for Social and Cultural Analysis their first year, and seven other courses, no more than two of which may originate beyond the program; and they must demonstrate intermediate- to advanced-level reading proficiency in a foreign language. Working under the supervision of a faculty advisor (and while enrolled in a one-credit Independent Study), MA students are required to complete a master’s thesis, to be submitted toward the end of their final semester in the program.
To apply to the MA program in Social and Cultural Analysis please carefully review the Applying to the MA in Social and Cultural Analysis page.
Upon arrival, students will be assigned a preliminary advisor from the program faculty to plan the first semester of coursework. Course selections should be discussed with, and approved by, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). Students are also encouraged to make contact with other faculty in the program who share their interests. While students should meet with their advisors prior to registration for the second semester’s courses, ultimate approval of course selections always lies with the DGS. N.B: There is no expectation that the student’s initial advisor will serve in that capacity in advanced stages of the student’s work—i.e., as a thesis advisor. The relationship with the initial advisor is one of general intellectual guidance and support.
Students may choose to enroll Full-Time or Part-Time. Full-Time students generally complete their degree in three semesters. GSAS requires that students maintain continuous enrollment in their program from the time of matriculation to graduation. Any Master's degree must be completed within 5 calendar years.
All entering students will register for the American Studies Seminar and Strategies for Social and Cultural Analysis their first year. Students must fulfill the requirements for these courses as the minimum requisites for the MA degree, which can be awarded upon the completion of 32 credits’ worth of course work (and fulfillment of the foreign language requirement, detailed below), 28 of which must have been taken in residence at NYU. Throughout the period of matriculation, students should select courses that will help them to pursue their interests in a coherent fashion.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
The Department requires that MA students successfully demonstrate proficiency in a second language at a minimum intermediate-level for the degree—typically by either (a) passing a language proficiency exam (usually administered by GSAS) or (b) having successfully completed at least four semesters of undergraduate language preparation (grade of B or better) no more than two years prior to the first term of registration in GSAS. Students should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies during the first semester about their plans for language study or for fulfilling the foreign language requirement.
Students enrolled for the terminal MA in Social and Cultural Analysis are required to complete a Master’s thesis to be submitted toward the end of their final semester in the program. Students register for an independent study [AMST-GA 3309 – Reading in American Studies] with their primary advisor when writing the thesis. A second reader from the program faculty is required for final approval of the thesis. The MA thesis should be based upon original research and should be approximately 40 to 60 pages in length.