Master of Arts in American Studies Program By University of Wyoming | Top Universities

Master of Arts in American Studies

Master of Arts in American Studies

  • QS World University Rankings
    801-1000
  • Study Level Masters
  • Scholarships No
The American Studies M.A. candidate pursues a curriculum which may include courses from a variety of disciplines but which centers upon the American experience. Each student develops an interdisciplinary concentration founded in American Studies coursework and incorporating related fields and disciplines such as environment and natural resources, Chicano, Native American and African American Studies, literature, history, anthropology, geography, art, and political science. With the help of a faculty advisor, each student shapes a program of study that reflects his or her background, interests, and career aspirations through a coherent investigation of an aspect of American life and thought. The M. A. in American Studies offers each student the opportunity to establish a professional identity and assemble a portfolio of accomplishments at the post-baccalaureate level. For many students this means concentrating on an interdisciplinary approach to cultural analysis that will serve as a transition to study at the Ph.D. level. For some, a public sector emphasis, including field courses, internships, and grant-sponsored activities lead to a career in government agencies, non-profit organizations, and publicly-sponsored cultural institutions. For a few, examining American culture from an international perspective can lead to a career outside the United States. Teachers, or teachers-in-training, have found a diverse, American Studies curriculum to be a way to enrich their understanding of American culture and thus augmenting and sharpening their teaching skills. At the time of the thesis defense (Plan A) or the oral examination (Plan B), each M.A. candidate must present a brief position paper which outlines the student's research interests within the interdisciplinary field. Master of Arts, Plan A requires 26 hours plus thesis. If the student elects Plan A (an appropriate choice if the ultimate goal is a doctorate), the thesis may rely on one of the traditional disciplines but should contain an interdisciplinary perspective which integrates the topic into the stream of American culture. Master of Arts, Plan B requires 30 hours, no thesis. If the student follows Plan B, s/he is expected to present to the examining committee a seminar paper or papers of publishable caliber, more limited in scope than the thesis but of equal rigor in conception and execution. The student will complete a written examination based on a reading list, the composition of which will be agreed on by the student and his or her graduate committee. The written examination, the position paper and the Plan B paper will then be the subject of an oral defense.

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