The American Studies (AMST) doctoral program offers ways to leverage the social criticism and historical analysis of academic scholarship to engage problems and issues significant to contemporary American life. This program builds individual tracks to place students with research centers and external partners that align with career interests. American Studies seeks to bring the public into the scholarship of the university in ways that build bridges between academia and communities.
The program requires students take courses from faculty in various disciplines that offer a variety of ways to analyze and critique a US-based “American experience,” broadly defined. Students will accumulate significant experience collaborating with organizations and institutions throughout the city and region. By mandating a related internship of at least one full year, the program promotes the application of academic research outside of the academy. Universities like IUPUI offer an innovative and interdisciplinary mix of methods and theory courses to develop the knowledge and skills required necessary to thrive in all sorts of environments.
90 total hours; 60 hours beyond a M.A. or M.S.
Ideally, each student will be strongly encouraged to have at least 6-9 hours of coursework from a foreign university. Such coursework can involve a minor field, methods courses, or elective credits.
All students shall take a written, qualifying examination that aims to assess the student’s knowledge and readiness to carry out successful research. This exam must be completed by the semester prior to the start of the student’s dissertation.
Recruitment of candidates for this program will present opportunities that are somewhat atypical for doctoral programs in the liberal arts. Traditionally, doctoral programs attract students who wish to work with specific faculty members within specific disciplines in order to build expertise and future careers in that discipline. The program seeks to attract students who believe contemporary problems require understanding and analysis that a research degree anchored in the liberal arts can provide. Rather than recruit students to become future academics, this program uses academic training to develop expertise that can be applied primarily outside of classrooms. To that end, the recruitment of students will depend on establishing clear connections between external partners for internships, research centers at IUPUI, and faculty who will mentor students by helping them build programs that prepare them for fields in which they will intern.
Candidates are not required to hold advanced degrees in any particular discipline, but this program will likely attract students holding either a B.A. or M.A. in liberal arts disciplines or related degrees. Candidates should have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing). While the program does not expect to institute a fixed minimum requirement, students shall be advised that successful candidates typically have scores above the 70th percentile in the verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing sections.
Beyond these measures for admission, the applicants shall submit a written statement of purpose for entering the Ph.D. program, three letters of recommendation from individuals in professional positions able to judge success (at least one letter from a tenured or tenure-track faculty), original transcripts, and a curriculum vitae.
Applicants should submit the following:
For applicants whose native language is not English, IUPUI requires a 79 on the Internet- based TOEFL or 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or a 6.5 on the IELTS or a G011 or higher on the IUPUI EAP Placement Exam taken from within the last two years. However, because of the importance of writing skills on a program with a dissertation requirement, applicants should typically score above the 70th percentile (i.e., 94 on the Internet-based TOEFL). Final decisions on admission shall be made by the American Studies Advisory Committee.
Contact Dr. Raymond Haberski, Director of American Studies.