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Pepperdine | Seaver College

Frequently Asked Questions | American Studies

Master of Arts in American Studies

 What is the typical schedule of classes?

Students most commonly take one class in the fall, one in the spring, and two each summer. Fall/Spring classes meet one night per week, from 6:00 to 9:50 pm. In the summer, we often have a course that meets two nights per week from 6:00 to 9:50 pm for eight weeks during May and June, Additionally, we also offer two courses in July, that meet four days or nights per week for three hours and twenty minutes for four weeks.

 How long does it take to complete the program?

Students who follow the schedule listed above complete their degree in two and a half years.

 What if I have to take a semester off or for some other reason get out of sequence with my cohort, can I “catch up”?

Yes. However it can be challenging because of scheduling. Many classes at Seaver College that would be an excellent fit for the American Studies degree are offered during the day and do not fit the schedules of working students. Some students will take longer than the two and a half years to complete the degree in this situation. Others find a way to schedule their program and still complete it in the typical time.

 How is graduate work different from undergraduate work?

Graduate students should advance in their scholarly journey. A graduate program is more focused and requires active participation in scholarly research. Thus the expectations are different both quantitatively and qualitatively from that of undergraduates. Graduate students can expect to read substantially more material, read more primary texts, and write longer more in‐depth papers that make an original contribution to the field.

 Since most of the students are fully employed, how does the program address that reality?

This is addressed through scheduling. We recognize that many students become interested in American Studies because they are middle or high school teachers. We schedule our classes with that in mind. However, students should not expect a reduced workload. This is a master's degree and the workload reflects that.

 Is on‐campus housing available?

Yes. You can apply for housing through Housing and Residence Life. Additionally, we offer a scholarship for summer on‐campus housing to commuter students. To be eligible students must be enrolled in two classes in one session and live at least 25 miles away.

 Does this program have a thesis?

No. Students take a comprehensive exam in the last week of the capstone course.

 How much is the tuition?

This program operates at a reduced tuition rate. Students eligible for the Keck Scholarship will also have that applied to their tuition. Tuition rates change each year. Students are notified of tuition changes each academic year.

 What is the Keck Scholarship?

This is a scholarship generously funded by the Keck Foundation. To be eligible a student must be a currently employed middle or high school teacher.