Apr 24, 2024  
2018 - 2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018 - 2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

American Studies Program



View the American Studies Faculty .

The American Studies Program

The American Studies Program has offered a rigorous, interdisciplinary course of graduate study at William & Mary.  The Program offers three degree tracks: the Ph.D., the M.A./Ph.D., and the M.A.. A joint degree with the School of Law that leads to the M.A. as well as J.D. is also offered.

The Program offers assistantships to funded M.A./Ph.D. and Ph.D. students that provide practical experiences in American Studies-related fields like archive and manuscript collections, editing, and museum research. All Ph.D. students receive teacher training and serve as teaching assistants, and most have the opportunity to teach a course of their own design after passing their Ph.D. qualifying exams.

Program Structure

Our M.A. and Ph.D. programs consist of coursework and independent research. Graduate students have wide latitude to choose a program of study appropriate to their interests. Our special areas of strength include: African American Studies, Art History and Visual Culture, American History and Culture, Digital Humanities, Literary Studies, Material Culture, Popular Culture, Native American Studies, Ritual and Religious Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, and Modern America.  Together with an advisor, students will design an educational program for themselves that is both individualized and coherent.

Admission Requirements

William & Mary uses an online application system.  All applicants are required to submit test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, a sample of writing of approximately 20 pages in length, and a short essay detailing intellectual interests and motives for pursuing a graduate degree in American Studies. American Studies requires candidates to submit three scores for a GRE test taken within five years prior to application: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing. The Miller Analogies test is not acceptable. If English is not your first language, your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are required and must be sent directly to William & Mary by the Educational Testing Service or IELTS. The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived for applicants who will have received a degree from a college or university in which English is the primary language of instruction.  A transcript required as evidence of successful instruction in English as a primary language.  To ensure full consideration for admission and financial assistance, applications, including all supporting materials and test scores, should be completed by December 1. Applications received after December 1 will be reviewed on the basis of available space. There are no spring admissions. Only applicants intending to enter as full-time M.A./Ph.D. or Ph.D. students are considered for financial funding support.

Programs and Course Descriptions



    American Studies

    Description of Courses

    Unless otherwise noted, all courses are graded using standard grading [A, B, C, D, F] scheme (See Grading and Academic Progress  in the section entitled Graduate Regulations) and may not be repeated for credit (See Repeated Courses  requirements in the section entitled Graduate Regulations).