BA American Studies

University of Groningen
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
On campus
01 September 2023

About this program

BA American Studies

In American Studies, you’ll learn in depth about the popular culture, politics, history, literature, economics, race relations, and religions of the United States. And you’ll study the connections between the Americas and the wider world. American Studies is not only 'American' - its international scope and inter-American perspective prepare you to lead in the global future.

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Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Nature Technology - If you have passed the VWO (pre-university education) exam in English, you satisfy the language requirement.

Nature health - If you have passed the VWO (pre-university education) exam in English, you satisfy the language requirement.

Economics and society - If you have passed the VWO (pre-university education) exam in English, you satisfy the language requirement.

Culture - If you have passed the VWO (pre-university education) exam in English, you satisfy the language requirement.

HBO propaedeutic year - Language requirement English: Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180

International diploma

previous education -Dutch VWO diploma, a German Abitur, an International Baccalaureate diploma, a European Baccalaureate or another diploma that is sufficient for acceptance to a Dutch university. Students with a Dutch 'hbo propedeuse' diploma also need to meet the language requirements mentioned below.

other admission requirements -English language requirement: Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Year 1

First year courses build a strong foundation in American culture and history, explore the relationship between the U.S. and the world, and prepare you to tackle college writing.

In Americas I and II, you'll learn how the U.S. became a global superpower, and about the origins of the modern Democratic and Republican parties. Theories of Culture I digs into the theme of identity, giving you new tools for thinking about race, class, and gender. Rhetoric and Composition I helps you perform better in all of your courses by working on your writing and speaking skills in English. In U.S. Political Culture, you'll study the founding texts of American politics, and learn about democracy through hands-on debates about controversial issues. And in North and South Americans, you'll read classic Latin American and Canadian literature and go in-depth on pressing issues like immigration, trade policy, and the War on Drugs.

Year 2

In the second year, you'll deepen your knowledge of history, politics, and culture, with additional freedom to choose courses that spark your interest.

Theories of Culture II covers classic works of political and media theory that will help you think about problems in new ways. In Americas III, you'll learn about the roots of contemporary concerns, like racial justice and regional diversity, in the encounters and conflicts of the early modern period. Rhetoric and Composition II guides you through writing your first research paper on a topic of your choice. The spring is all about options. If you are into media and popular culture, you can take Media Specialization, which goes in-depth on the way technological changes shape the culture we consume. If you're more curious about economics and policy, check out Global USA. Special Topics courses change every year, exploring topics like 'Canada's Cultural Mosaic', 'Failed Colonies', and 'Seeing Race in America'. Many assignments in these courses go beyond the academic essay: whether you're recording a TED Talk, writing an editorial, designing an exhibit, or helping to develop an app, you'll use your skills in analysis, research, and writing in new ways.

Year 3

The third year consolidates your learning and prepares you for life beyond, whether in the workforce or a Master's program. In the fall, you can study abroad, take on a placement in the Career Minor, or take courses in another department by pursuing a Faculty or University Minor.

Your spring American Studies courses address evolving global challenges, in which the Americas play a central role: why do people migrate? what does it feel like to live between two cultures? how did consumer” become so central to modern identity? how are globalization, technology, and climate change transforming capitalism? You'll crown your studies with an intensive research project, the BA thesis. Choose the topic of your thesis, and work with peers and professors to write something you can be proud of!


  • Tuition fees for EU/EEA Students: € 2,314 per year
  • Tuition fees for Non-EU/EEA Students: € 11,200 per year


Credits-(180 ECTS)

Career paths

Journalism and Media

Use your knowledge of U.S. history, culture, and politics to write for international media outlets, or build new platforms for new audiences.

Business and Banking

Your ability to think, write, and speak confidently in English, coupled with your deep knowledge of U.S. economic, cultural and commercial policies and practices, make you an asset to companies seeking to expand into the Dutch, European, and U.S. markets.

  • Editorial staff for TV at EenVandaag
  • Municipality Spokesperson
  • Communications Advisor Digital Public Diplomacy at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Adviser at European and Regional Affairs
  • Free-lance journalist for BBC
  • Policy Advisor for Art and Culture for local government
  • Creative Director at VidMedia (corporate films) City Council Member
  • Policy Researcher at Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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About this institute

University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, founded in 1614 and it ranks amongst the top 100 universities in the world. We are a research-intensive institution offering a wide range of highly regarded bachelor, master...

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Why study at University of Groningen

We're a Top 100 University

Study at one of the world’s leading universities. Learn from the best and take advantage of exciting research opportunities. Live in a vibrant city where over a quarter of the population are students. Whatever you’re seeking from your university experience, you’ll find it in Groningen. With over 45 world-class Bachelor’s programmes and 160 highly-ranked Master’s programmes, we have a field of study for you.

Our groundbreaking research

As a student, you will be actively involved in research at one of Europe’s top research institutions from the get-go. The University of Groningen carries out ground-breaking and socially-relevant research that builds bridges between disciplines and closes the gap between science and society.

400 years of reputation

The University of Groningen is the second oldest university in the Netherlands and has built a reputation for excellence. Many talented people have passed through the university during its rich 400-year history, including Nobel Prize winners like Ben Feringa (Chemistry, 2016) and Frits Zernike (Physics, 1953). Some have been pioneers in their respective fields, such as the first female University student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Bank.

Vibrant Student Life

While its history can be traced back to 300 BC, today Groningen is a vibrant student city with the youngest population in the Netherlands – one in four people here is a student! That means there’s always something to do, with various art and music festivals, theatres, cinemas and performance venues catering to all tastes, whether you prefer to watch or want to join in. In Groningen, you’ll see students everywhere: studying in the pretty Noorderplantsoen park, working various part-time jobs and partying the night away.

Global Community

The University of Groningen attracts a large international community! Our Erasmus Student Network (ESN) conveniently facilitates all international students in Groningen and organizes over 150 activities a year. The University of Groningen has strong international connections which means that you can easily spend part of your degree studying abroad. The University also offers several unique international Master’s degree programmes in cooperation with other large European universities.

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