Apr 20, 2018  
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog

American Studies, M.A.

Degree Requirements

Note: Students should consult the American Studies Graduate Handbook, available at the Program website, for a fuller account of program requirements.

Course Requirements

A total of 24 credit hours is required, including

  • AMST 661 - Introduction to American Studies (3)
  • AMST 695 - Directed Thesis Master's Research (variable 3-9)
  • The remaining credits are earned through formal courses and independent readings, chosen in consultation with students' advisors and designed to reflect the students' interests, and to prepare them for original research and critical engagement with their fields.  At least 4 courses (12 credits) must be taken at the 600 level or above, including AMST 661. AMST 695 does not count toward this total.

Thesis Requirement

Students pursuing the M.A. complete a thesis, based on original research, which develops a coherent argument and makes a contribution to the study of American life.

Exam Requirement

The thesis, supplemented by an oral defense before a faculty committee, will serve as the M.A. field examination in American Studies.

Language Requirement

There is no language requirement for students seeking the M.A.

Residence Requirement

Students working towards the M.A. should be in residence for one year.

Satisfactory Progress

All full-time M.A. students should finish their coursework in one academic year, taking 12 credits a semester. All requirements for the master's degree must be completed within six years from the first term of enrollment in the master's program, excluding periods of approved leave and military service.  Requests for extension beyond the six-year limit must be filed following the procedures outlined in Time Limits for Degrees and Extensions in the Graduate Arts & Sciences Catalog.

To be eligible to graduate, all students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all courses undertaken for graduate credit at William & Mary after admission to a degree program.  A student who receives a grade of C+ (2.3) or lower in a course may repeat that course one time for credit, upon approval of both the instructor of the course and the graduate director for the student's program. When such a repeat attempt is approved, the grades for both attempts will count in the cumulative GPA, but only the most recent attempt will count toward the degree. No credit toward a degree will be allowed for a course in which a student receives a grade below C (grade point = 2.0).

Students whose grade point average falls below 3.3 are put on academic probation the following semester. If at the end of the following probationary semester the grade point average remains below 3.3, funded students will lose their funding, and students - funded or not - may be dropped from the Program.

For a student enrolled in a master's program in the College of Arts & Sciences who subsequently advances to candidacy in the doctoral program in the same field, the terms of enrollment in the master's program will count towards the seven-year limit for the doctoral degree unless otherwise stated in the letter of admission.