PhD in American Studies
Note: The Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities has decided to pause admissions to the doctoral program in American Studies for AY 2021-22. This decision was reached after careful consideration of the existing and future challenges posed by the pandemic and its financial, psychological, and social repercussions. In addition, the department believes that its decision is an ethical and responsible one by reaffirming the continued support of and strong investment in its current and continuing graduate students. The department plans on resuming doctoral admissions for AY 2022-23.
PhD coursework should be interdisciplinary and students must complete the following:
- Four core courses: (AMST 8201, 8202, 8401, 8801)
- Three one-semester graduate seminars (in consultation with your advisor)
- One comparative culture course covering international or non-US subjects
- Field of concentration, which consists of seven advisor-approved courses, one of which must be a cultural pluralism course
- 24 thesis credits
- Reading knowledge of one foreign language
Preliminary Exams: Written & Oral
The American studies preliminary examination portfolio consists of three written components:
- Subfield paper #1, a broad-based definition and explanation of a first subfield
- Subfield paper #2, an annotated syllabus for an undergraduate introductory course in a second subfield
- Dissertation project statement (together these compose the preliminary written examination), and an oral review (preliminary oral examination). Portfolios are individually tailored to each student's program.
Students carrying a full-time load generally take three years to complete course work, and two years to complete the dissertation. It is possible—but difficult—to complete this degree in a total of four years. Students are expected to complete the writing and defense of the dissertation by the end of their seventh year in the program.