Studies & Degrees in American Studies
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American Studies Study Programs
A program for American Studies is offered not exclusively for Americans but also for other nationalities who are interested in knowing American life and culture and society. It is also offered not only in American schools but in other countries as well, notably the United Kingdom. The program is an academic discipline that examines American culture and the importance of American experience for the people in the United States. It also tries to examine the culture of the U.S. in international context, seeking to know how this culture interacts with the culture of other countries of the world.
An undergraduate program usually focuses on Anthropology, Biology, Art History, History, Literature, Environmental Studies, North American Studies, Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies, and Jewish Studies. In Yale University, the program encourages the interdisciplinary study of the U.S. politics and cultures, and changing representations of its national identity. The university’s graduate program offers courses in American Literature, History, Arts and Material Culture, Philosophy, Cultural Theory, and Social Sciences. The requirements for admission to the graduate program include the successful completion of the first stage of the language examination, which is actually a research on the chosen language. In the Utah State University, the graduate program has courses in American Literature, American History, American Civilizations, with focus on philosophical themes related to the culture of the Americans.
A university in the United Kingdom offers a master’s degree program for American Studies for one year. The courses include Theories of American Culture, Struggle for Black Equality, Native American History, and American Foreign Policy Intervention in the Third World. Indiana University’s program explores the ways by which the culture of U.S. interacts with the culture of South America and Central America, and also offers specializations in Comparative Literature of the Americans, American Popular Culture, Histories of Race, and Film. In the University of Maryland, the program focuses on two distinct areas such as the culture of everyday life in the U.S., cultural constructions of identification, and has courses of study that include Literature and Society, Culture and Media Studies, and Sexuality. The specialties in the College of William and Mary include African American Studies, Literature, History, Visual Studies, and Cultural Studies. Indiana has another university—Purdue University—that offers a Ph.D. program on American Studies, which is considered as the most comprehensive in the U.S. as its curriculum emphasizes the importance of American Studies beyond the country’s national boundaries. The graduate program in the St. Louis University combines theory and practice with the development of skills in research design, critical analysis and writing.
Graduates of American Studies face job opportunities in educational administration, the academic community, libraries, museums, civic organizations, archives, public and private agencies, print and broadcast journalism, religious orders and ministries, and political institutions.