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Humanities & Teacher Education

Master of Arts in American Studies

A Master of Arts is offered in American studies. This program involves courses offered in the summers and in the evenings during the fall and spring terms. Studies include  political science, history of the United States, literature of the United States, American moral traditions, and elective courses involving the American experience.

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As a general rule, it will be expected that the applicants for the master’s degree in American studies will have completed an undergraduate major in one of the five basic disciplines of the American studies program: English, history, religion, or political science.

Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in American studies is a thirty-six-unit degree. The degree program consists of seven mandatory core courses and two elective courses. The following core courses are required of all students:

CourseIDCourse DescriptionUnits
Required Courses:
AMST 610 Orientation to American Studies 4
AMST 620 Directed Readings in American Studies 4
ENG 680

Seminar in Literature*

*Seminar is a 4-unit course that must be taken twice. Topics will vary.

HIST 530 Social and Intellectual History of the United States 4
POSC 518 Contemporary American Ideologies 4
REL 635 American Moral Traditions 4
Elective Courses:
Students must complete two classes from the list below but may not take more than three courses (including core classes) from any one discipline. The list below is not exhaustive, but a representation of recent choices.
COM 512 Media Impact and U.S. Minorities 4
COM 587 Rhetorical Theory* 3
COM 588 Principles of Rhetorical Criticism 3
*American studies students must concurrently enroll in COM 599 for one unit when enrolled in COM 587 or COM 588.
ENG 680 Seminar in Literature (Topics in American Literature: Major Writers) 4
ECON 526 American Economic History 4
Political Science
POSC 521 Public Policy 4
POSC 542 American Foreign Policy 4
REL 524 Christian Ethics 4
REL 538 History of Religion in America 4
REL 539 History of the Restoration Movement 4
No grade below "B-" will count toward the degree but shall be computed in the grade point average. A student who earns more than one grade below "B-" will be dismissed from the program. The student must have a grade point average of 3.0 or better in all work presented for the degree.

Examinations and Final Requirements

Each student must satisfactorily pass a comprehensive examination which covers all areas of course work in the program. The capstone reading course will assist the student in integrating the course work completed and serve as preparation for the comprehensive examination.