Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

Graduate Study

American Studies - Doctor of Philosophy (this program is in moratorium effective Spring 2010 through Summer 2017)

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program in American Studies is designed for students who wish to understand the American experience by studying it from an interdisciplinary perspective.  The educational objectives of the program are to promote the interdisciplinary study of American culture, past and present, its ideas and institutions.  Students who complete the program should have acquired a general knowledge of American culture from the vantage of several disciplines and area studies, and a specific knowledge of one area of American culture. 

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Arts and Letters, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in American studies, an applicant must:

  1. Have the results of the Graduate Record Examination General Test forwarded to the college.
  2. Submit to the college a recent sample of academic and/or professional writing.
  3. Include in the letter required by the college a 500–1000 word statement giving the applicant's goals in pursuing a doctoral degree.

To be admitted to the doctoral program in American studies on regular status, an applicant must have a master's degree in American studies or 30 credits of approved course work.

Guidance Committee

One faculty member from each of the three fields on which the student's comprehensive examinations are based shall serve on the student's guidance committee.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in American Studies

The student must:

               
1. Complete a minimum of 21 credits from the following:  
  a. All of the following courses (9 credits):  
    AMS 860 Writing and Publishing American Studies Scholarship 3
    AMS 881 American Studies Theory, Methods, and Bibiolography 3
    AMS 891 Special Topics in American Studies 3
  b. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
    AMS 849 Comparative Ethnic Studies (D) 3
    AMS 851 Popular Culture Studies 3
    An 800-level methods course in another discipline may be used towards this requirement with approval fo the director of the Program in American Studies.  
  c. Complete an additional 9 credits in courses at the 400-level or above outside of the Program in American Studies, usually concentrated in a single field or discipline. The student's guidance committee may require additional course work and an additional discipline or area of study.  
2. Pass written comprehensive examinations over  three fields and an oral comprehensive examination that covers all three of those fields.  
  A student who fails a written comprehensive examination has one opportunity to retake that same examination. The examination must be retaken before the end of the semester following the one in which the examination was failed.  
  Within two weeks of passing the third written comprehensive examination, the student must take an oral comprehensive examination.  
  All of the comprehensive examinations must be completed within one calendar year from the date that the first written comprehensive examination was taken.    
3. Demonstrate competence in one foreign language approved by the student's guidance committee and the Director of American Studies.  
  Students whose focus of study involves cross–cultural research related to countries or groups of people in which a language other than English is essential must demonstrate competence in that language.  
  Students whose focus of study does not involve cross–cultural research may, with the approval of their guidance committees, complete additional course work in an area of study relevant to their research in lieu of demonstrating competence in a foreign language.  
4. Submit a dissertation prospectus or abstract no longer than 10 pages to the guidance committee no later than the end of the semester following the one in which the student passed all of the comprehensive examinations. Approval of the prospectus or abstract is required before the student may continue work on the dissertation.  
5. Pass the oral examination in defense of the dissertation.