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American Studies

University of Wyoming
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
On campus
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Program description

American Studies

American Studies explores American cultural experience past and present, through a wide range of approaches to American lives, places, arts, knowledges, communities, institutions, histories, and ideas. American Studies is an integrative field that comes from and adds to the context of our cultural lives in the U.S. and the U.S. in the world. American Studies frames present concerns with engagement with the past; expects us to engage people’s experiences in the context of a diversity of experiences; and invites us to understand our own commitments and interests as valuable contributors to American cultural understanding. American Studies as a field depends on and adds to insights of scholars, artists, and scientists from virtually any field of expertise.

The American Studies program offers undergraduate B.A. and graduate M.A. degrees in American Studies, as well as courses of general interest to students in any degree.

Our program places special emphasis on studying American cultures through field experiences and internships: students apply academic knowledge and develop professional skills in community and non-profit organizations, historic preservation efforts and organizations, historic sites, museums and collections, among many possibilities. Every internship is developed in close consultation between the students and our Internship Coordinator, and frequently stems from a student’s general idea about where or with whom they’d like to work, in Laramie or Wyoming, in other parts of the U.S., or sometimes abroad. Our program also highlights international perspectives, as well as the transnational context of American impacts and experiences, in course work and exchanges available to American Studies students.

Admission requirements

Program Specific Admission Requirements

A significant writing sample (usually a seminar paper or, for those coming from technical fields, a major report) that demonstrates potential for graduate study.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Degree requirements based on university minimum requirements. Successful completion of the following: AMST 5500/5510 with a grade of "B" or better, three additional American Studies courses, and a Thesis or Plan B (non-Thesis) project.

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Program content

  • Social Justice in the 21st Century
  • Introduction to American Studies
  • Cultural Diversity in America
  • Introduction to Historic Preservation
  • Introduction to Museology
  • Cultures of Nature in the United States
  • Food in American Culture
  • Popular Music and Sexualities
  • Chicanas/os in Contemporary Society
  • Independent Study
  • American Folklife
  • Ecology of Knowledge
  • Historic Preservation and Sustainability
  • The Harlem Renaissance
  • Environmental Politics
  • Federal Land Politics
  • American Culture and the Public Sector
  • Queer Theory
  • American Civilization
  • Art and Ecology
  • Women, Gender & Migration
  • Historic Preservation
  • Field Studies in Historic Preservation
  • Internship
  • Senior Seminar
  • Material Culture
  • American Built Environment
  • Topics in American Studies
  • Readings in American Studies
  • Varieties of Literary Evidence
  • Black Popular Culture
  • Practicum in College Teaching
  • Continuing Registration: On Campus
  • Continuing Registration: Off Campus
  • Enrichment Studies
  • Thesis Research


Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an M.A. in American Studies integrate their educational backgrounds, research and professional interests, and coursework at the M.A. level inside and outside American Studies, in individual programs of study, to professional engage American cultural production and communities in preparation for professional work or advanced graduate study. Students earning the M.A. in American Studies, either completing a thesis or pursuing the non-thesis Plan B project, are prepared to:

  • Interpret a variety of objects significant to the study of American cultures, including words, narratives, images, material objects, communities, built environments, identities, cross-cultural and/or international perspectives, continuities and discontinuities with the past in a range of cultural settings.
  • Demonstrate professional competence in writing and speaking in error-free expository prose, authoritative oral presentation, insightful use of relevant source material reflecting critical reading skill, prose style commensurate with professional responsibility, and prose content commensurate with professional responsibility.
  • Produce professional research for a well-define community (scholarly, public, or an appropriate combination), by identifying and using primary sources, building approaches from a relevant matrix of secondary sources, and understanding scholarly traditions within the field of American Studies that supports, expands, and connects research to professional goals.
  • Make effective plans for advanced graduate study or professional employment by developing competencies listed above, including the opportunity to complete appropriate internship or field course work in an area of the student’s professional plans.

Career opportunities

American Studies puts people and their plans together building career goals in K-12 education, law, or business, work in community organizations and public institutions, or further graduate-level study.

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About this institute

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University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is located in the safe and inviting college town of Laramie, Wyoming. Laramie is a community located about two hours north of the large, metropolitan city of Denver, Colorado. Laramie is nestled in a valley at...

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Contact info

University of Wyoming

1000E University Avenue
82071 Laramie

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