Mar 28, 2023  
2014 - 2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014 - 2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

American Studies, PhD

Students may enter the Ph.D. program by one of two routes. They may enroll directly into the sequential M.A./Ph.D. course of studies at William and Mary, or they may matriculate in the doctoral program, after completing M.A. degrees at other institutions.

The following requirements hold for all doctoral candidates.

Degree Requirements:

(See general College requirements in ‘Graduate Regulations ’.) 

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

  1. Course distribution (36 credit hours for the Ph.D.)
    1. An introductory seminar (AMST 661 ), which provides a broad framework for the study of American society and culture. (Normally, students will have taken this course in the first year of the M.A./Ph.D. program.)
    2. 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.
  2. Reading knowledge of a foreign language of scholarship by the end of the fourth semester.
  3. A qualifying exam in one Major and one or more Minor Fields. Major fields encompass established disciplines, such as History or English, and area or interdisciplinary studies, such as African-American Studies, Material Culture, or Women’s and Gender Studies. Minor fields may also be devised to suit the students’ particular interests.
  4. A dissertation based upon original research, which makes a scholarly contribution to the study of American life.

Students have seven years to complete the doctorate after matriculation in the Ph.D. program. Normally, 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 embark upon their dissertations.

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.