Skip to main content

Skip page navigation

Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences
collage

Frequently Asked Questions

STAND ALONE PHD PHD MINORS COMBINED PHD

Q: What are the course requirements for the Ph.D.?

    At least 90 credit hours are required for the doctorate. Within these, students must complete:
  • AMST-G603 Introduction to American Studies (4 cr.)
    Representative readings in interdisciplinary scholarship; the origins and the development of American Studies and current trends;
  • AMST-G604 Perspectives in American Studies (4 cr.)
    Survey of perspectives that have been and currently are significant in American Studies;
  • One section of AMST-G620 Colloquium in American Studies (3-4 cr.)
    Reading, reports, and discussions on different aspects of American culture; and
  • At least four courses at the 700 level or higher (including at least one section of G751), which may include cross-listed courses and relevant electives offered through American Studies.
    The student must complete at least 32 credits in American Studies coursework.

Q: What are the procedures for Qualifying Exams?

    By the start of the 5th semester, students will
  • Write two 25-page essays (one per field) that result in a critical review of the key texts in the field, working under the direction of the faculty examiners and drawing upon the works on the studentsí expanded lists.
  • Once the examiners for each field approve the respective critical essay, they will inform the DGS of this. NOTE: There is a one-year time limit for approval of both parts of the written essay portion. After one-year deadline has passed, if both parts of the written portion of the qualifying exam have not been approved by the committee, the student will have failed the exam (see retakes).
  • Student will then take a two hour oral examination in which all four examiners are present in person or via Skype.
  • At the end of the oral examination, the examination committee will determine whether the student passed or whether s/he should re-take the exams in whole or in part the following semester. The committee will report this to the DGS.

Q: Is a Ph.D. minor required?

  • Yes, students must complete a minor in another department, program, or field. The minor should be completed by the end of the student's third year. No courses may be cross-counted towards the minor.

Q: Is there a foreign language requirement?

  • Yes, before taking the qualifying exams, students will demonstrate advanced proficiency in a foreign language related to their field of study by completing at least one 300 level course in their chosen language of study with a grade of B or higher, or passing the Graduate Studnet Foreign Language Exam (GSFLE) in French, German, or Spanish.

Q: Does American Studies have a Ph.D. minor program?

  • Yes, the Department of American Studies offers three minors
    American Studies Minor

    Students must complete 12 credit hours including:

    • G603 Introduction to American Studies (4 cr.)
      Representative readings in interdisciplinary scholarship; the origins and the development of American Studies and current trends.
    • G751 Seminar in American Studies (3-4 cr.)
      Intensive study of specific topics in American culture and history with emphasis on developing skills in interdisciplinary research. These seminars will culminate in a 20+-page research paper. Topics and instructors will change each time the seminar is offered. May be repeated once for credit.
    • Remaining course work can come from cross-listed courses outside the student's home department (see University Graduate School Bulletin) or courses in American Studies.

    Critical Race and Postcolonial Studies (CRPS) Minor

    Students must complete four courses (minimum of 12 credits):

    • ENG-L 648 Readings in Comparative Ethnic and Postcolonial Studies (4 cr.)
      Introduction to the major works, methods, issues, and development in comparative ethnic and postcolonial cultural studies OR
    • AMST-G 620 Colloquium in American Studies (with approved topics) (3-4 cr.)
    • Three additional courses drawn from at least two departments, chosen in consultation with the CRPS supervisor, Ranu Samantrai (rsamantr atindiana.edu). A list of courses that may qualify for credit can be found here.
      To complete the minor, the student must present her/his research in a forum organized by the CRPS Advisory Committee, which is comprised of CRPS Affiliate Faculty.

    Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) minor.

    Requirements for the Native American and Indigenous Studies PhD minor encourage graduate students to develop a program of academic inquiry that complements their doctoral program and takes advantage of the wide range of College of Arts and Sciences faculty. Each student’s "Plan of Study" is developed upon their entry to the degree and in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

    Students must complete 12 credit hours of course work including.
    • G605 Introduction to Native American & Indigenous Studies (4 cr.)
      This is an introductory course in the interdisciplinary study of Native peoples, with primary focus on the study of Indigenous peoples in the continental U.S., Alaska, and Canada.
    The remaining credits can come from any course offered by NAIS faculty, assuming content is appropriate, such as:
    • G620 Colloquium in American Studies (with relevant Native or Indigenous content) (3-4 cr.)
    • G751 Seminar in American Studies (with relevant Native or Indigenous content) (3-4 cr.)
    • G753 Independent Study in American Studies (with relevant Native or Indigenous content) (1-4 cr.) . P: Consent of the Director of Graduate Studies and of instructor, who must be a member of the Committee on Native American and Indigenous Studies. (Please complete the AMST-G753 Proposal and obtain appropriate signatures. This proposal must be on file with American Studies before permission to enroll is granted.)
      Students may count up to two graduate-level Native or Indigenous language courses (which are usually listed at the 500-level) toward the minor.

Q: How do I apply for the Combined Degree?

    Students seeking admission to American Studies must first be admitted to a Ph.D. degree-granting department/school in their major area of concentration.
    For students applying to the department from outside of IU:
    • Applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), including both verbal and quantitative tests.
    • Students should send a letter to the American Studies Admissions Committee indicating their research interests and how these relate to American Studies. They should also include a copy of their statement of purpose. Please mail to:

      American Studies Graduate Affairs Committee
      Ballantine Hall 544
      1020 E. Kirkwood Avenue
      Indiana University
      Bloomington, IN 47405

    For students applying to the department who have already been accepted into and/or are already enrolled in a Ph.D. degree-granting department/school at IU:

    • Please send a letter to the following address stating your research interests and how these relate to American Studies:

      American Studies Graduate Affairs Committee
      c/o Department of American Studies
      Ballantine Hall 544
      BL

Q: What are the requirements?

  • At least 90 credit hours are required for the Combined Ph.D. degree. Within this, students must complete:
  • 32 total credit hours in American Studies, including up to 12 from inside the student's "home" department.
  • G603 Introduction to American Studies (4 cr.)
    Representative readings in interdisciplinary scholarship; the origins and the development of American Studies and current trends.
  • G604 Perspectives in American Studies (4 cr.)
    Survey of perspectives that have been and currently are significant in American Studies.
  • G751 Seminar in American Studies (3-4 cr.)
    Intensive study of specific topics in American culture and history with emphasis on developing skills in interdisciplinary research. These seminars will culminate in a 20+-page research paper. Topics and instructors will change each time the seminar is offered. May be repeated once for credit.
    Remaining course work can come from cross-listed courses outside the student's home department.

Q: If I decide to pursue the combined degree, should I take my home department exams before or after I take my qualifying exam in AMST?

  • We recommend you take your home department comprehensive exams prior to taking your AMST Qualifying Exam. The AMST exam must be taken within 1 year of your major exams.

Q: How do I set up my exam in American Studies?