The American studies Ph.D. program prepares students for teaching, research, and leadership in universities and schools, museums, historic sites, archives, and communications venues, and governmental and public policy agencies. Students who plan to teach at the post-secondary level enroll in Effective College Teaching (AMST 502), which provides a guided experience in designing their own class. Experiential learning is embedded in courses such as Public Heritage (AMST 550) and Ethnography and Society (AMST 540). Students often undertake internships at museums, archives, and governmental organizations to expand their experiences and hone career choices. Many Ph.D. students choose to complete the Graduate Certificate in Public Heritage and Museum Practice or the Graduate Certificate in Folklore and Ethnography.
The program allows students to focus on a broad range of interests and specialties. Foundational courses include AMST 500, which offers advanced preparation in American studies theories and methods, and AMST 591, which prepares students to devise, research, and write their dissertation. Many students elect to take some or all of the semester-long courses covering American Culture in the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries (AMST 533-536).
Topical courses allow students to focus on American literature, material culture, folklore and ethnography, and environmental history, among other areas. Numerous other classes provide additional perspectives on issues such as gender, race, ethnicity, and class in America. Material culture courses include Cultural Landscapes and American Decorative Arts and Material Culture (both, AMST 570). Robust offerings in American Folklore and Ethnography include Material Culture and Folklife (AMST 531). Doctoral candidates work closely with faculty members to identify, research, and complete their dissertations (AMST 601).
For course descriptions and requirements, see the University Bulletin.