Degree Requirements

American Studies Degree Requirements

Master of American Studies

30 credit hours of coursework

Some courses are required while other courses may be taken on topics of importance to American thought with approval of program director and instructor.

Comprehensive exam

The exam covers questions derived from course work. 

Institute participation 

As a final requirement in lieu of a thesis, the University will sponsor each semester an institute meeting for one day on a topic central to American Studies. Candidates for degree are expected to attend and participate. A portion of the comprehensive exam will be devoted to the issues addressed in the two institutes held during the year of matriculation.

Typical topics for these semester institutes: The Puritan Origins of American Constitutionalism; Religion in America; The Bill of Rights; Literature and the American Founding; Natural Rights and the Constitution; Is the American Regime Necessarily Capitalist?; Hawthorne's America; Melville's Quarrel With His Country; Tocqueville's Democracy, Jefferson versus Hamilton; Slavery, the Progressivists; the Wilsonian Revolution; Contemporary Thought on the Founding; Equality: Then and Now; American Dramatists; Liberty: Then and Now; William Faulkner; the Anti-Federalists; the Southern Dissent; Willmoore Kendall on the American Political Tradition; John Dewey and American Education.

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