Program Objectives

The Graduate Program in American Studies educates students to become knowledgeable and productive scholars who will contribute significantly to a wide range of academic, cultural, and public institutions. The curriculum is designed:

  •  To train scholars in the theory and methodology of interdisciplinary study and to develop research skills enabling them to draw upon, and eventually contribute to, the collections, archives, and resources of the universities and cultural institutions of the region;
  • To foster new scholarship which contributes to the advancement of understanding of American civilization's heterodox identities, institutions, and cultures;
  • To encourage the original and creative articulation of research and scholarly contributions to diverse audiences, including other scholars in the academy; undergraduate and graduate students; scholars and professionals in cultural institutions in the public sector; and the general public, through a variety of media.

 

The Ph.D. degree in American Studies requires the successful completion of 60 credits of work. Doctoral candidates are expected to complete 42 credits of course work, including 6 credits in two core courses, 6 credits in upper-level reading and research seminar, 3 credits of coursework in public humanities in a course chosen in consultation with the program director and 18 credits of dissertation research. Degree candidates must complete 12 credits of work in each of their exam field -- an interdisciplinary field, a disciplinary field, and a third field defined by students' dissertation topic.

The Master's degree in American Studies requires the successful completion of 30 credits of work. Master's degree candidates are expected to complete 24 credits of course work, including 6 credits in two core courses, 3 credits in public humanities in a course chosen in consultation with the program director and at least 12 credits in one interdisciplinary field. They have the option of completing their final six credits either preparing a Master's thesis or taking two additional elective courses.

Students will select courses that are relevant to their chosen concentrations and have access to an extensive and diverse array of course selections offered by the American Studies program and other graduate programs at Rutgers University-Newark, including: English, History, Political Science, Jazz History and Research, Liberal Studies, Global Affairs, Public Administration, Urban Systems (Urban Health Systems, Urban Environment Studies, Urban Educational Policy), and Public Health. In addition, with permission, students may also enroll in courses appropriate to their fields offered by the Rutgers University-Newark School of Criminal Justice, the Rutgers Law School, Rutgers Business School, School of Public Affairs and Administration, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. They may also enroll in relevant graduate courses offered on the New Brunswick campuses of Rutgers University.