Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

American Studies Ph.D.

American Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of American Studies, 104 Scott Hall, 72 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-4190; fax: 612-624-3858).
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 63 to 69
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
American studies is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental program. The American studies graduate faculty consists of American studies core faculty members and graduate faculty members drawn from a wide number of departments. Students develop subfields (understood as a more specific focus of research and teaching) and also pursue broad training in analyzing the development of cultural and historical processes that shaped the nation and its diverse cultures, as well as analyzing contemporary practices.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
An undergraduate major in a field related to American studies or other preparation acceptable to the Admissions Committee for American studies is required.
Special Application Requirements:
American studies admits students for graduate study at the PhD level only. (PhD students may obtain a MA during the course of their studies, but students are not admitted for a terminal MA.) Students entering the PhD program must hold at least a bachelor's level degree from a recognized institution of higher education. The deadline for application to the Department of American Studies is December 1 of the year prior to intended entry. Refer to the program website for application procedures and additional information.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
33 to 45 credits are required in the major.
0 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may not be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: Reading knowledge of one foreign language.
A minimum GPA of 3.50 is required for students to remain in good standing.
The following courses are required for all students:
AMST 8201 - Historical Foundations of American Studies (3.0 cr)
AMST 8202 - Theoretical Foundations and Current Practice in American Studies (3.0 cr)
AMST 8401 - Practicum in American Studies (3.0 cr)
AMST 8801 - Dissertation Seminar (3.0 cr)
Core Areas
Of the 3 core areas below, at least 3 credits must focus on American cultural diversity. Coursework is chosen in consultation with the advisor and director of Graduate Studies.
1. Research Seminars
A minimum of 3 and maximum of 9 credits (3 courses) worth of research seminars offered by the department of American Studies or another department related to research area. Requires DGS approval. One of these seminars requires original research.
2. Comparative Culture
3 credits (1 course) in a course on comparative cultures, covering international or non-US subjects.
3. Electives
21 credits (7 courses) of American studies courses or courses related to an area of study chosen in consultation with your advisor.
Outside Coursework
Take 12 credits in a declared minor field or supporting program in integration with the research focus.
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AMST 8201 - Historical Foundations of American Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Exposition of American studies as a field of inquiry, including its history, major theoretical framework, and interdisciplinary methodologies. prereq: grad AmSt major
AMST 8202 - Theoretical Foundations and Current Practice in American Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Analysis of central theoretical work in the field and survey of key methodologies. prereq: grad AmSt major or instr consent or dept consent
AMST 8401 - Practicum in American Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Training in teaching undergraduate courses in American studies. prereq: instr consent
AMST 8801 - Dissertation Seminar
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02566 - AmSt 8801/GWSS 8997
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Conceptualizing the research problem for the dissertation and structuring the process of writing a chapter of it. prereq: AmSt doctoral student beginning dissertation work