Sep 19, 2018  
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

American Studies, Sequential M.A./Ph.D.

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 60 credit hours are required; 24 credits for the M.A, and 36 for the Ph.D.

Courses shall include

  • AMST 661 - Introduction to American Studies (3)
  • The remaining credits are earned through formal courses and independent readings, chosen in consultation with the student's advisor and designed to prepare the student to present Major and Minor Fields for the comprehensive examination. 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.  These courses may include some instances of AMST 790: Directed Research, and twelve credits of AMST 795: Independent Research.
  • Students must take at least six credit hours of AMST 800, although these do not count toward the 36 hour requirement.

Thesis Requirement

The thesis of students completing the sequential M.A./Ph.D. program consists of two substantive research papers related to the student's proposed specializations for the Ph.D. portion. They will be developed as part of the requirements for formal courses or independent studies taken during the first year.

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

Candidates should have a reading knowledge of a foreign language of scholarship by the end of the fourth semester.

Residence Requirement

Students shall be in residence while working towards the M.A., and must spend at least one academic year in resident as a full-time student while a Ph.D. candidate.

Satisfactory Progress

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).

The department conducts periodic reviews of all students. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress towards their chosen degree(s) or who fail to maintain the grade point average required by the Program (3.3) are subject to dismissal.

All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed within seven years from the first term of enrollment in the Ph.D. program, excluding periods of approved leave and military service. 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.

Full-time students will pursue three semesters of course work beyond the M.A. and then take the qualifying examination in the fourth semester of their doctoral studies. After successful completion of the qualifying examination, students will begin their dissertations. Part-time M.A./Ph.D. students should complete all requirements for the M.A. within three years from matriculation in order to continue to candidacy in the Ph.D. program.

The American Studies Program also enables students to pursue the Ph.D. on a part time basis. Students may take course work part-time, but they must spend at least one academic year in continuous residence as a full-time student at the College. After their courses are complete, part-time students must also meet the same deadlines as full-time students and have seven years to complete their doctorate after matriculation in the Ph.D. program.