Doctor of Philosophy Degree
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- Admission Requirements
- How to Apply
- Financial Assistance
- Course Requirements
- Advisory Committee
- Thematic Plan of Study
- Qualifying Examination
- Dissertation Committee
- The Dissertation
- Minor Requirement
- Foreign Language Study
Admission is by approval of the department's Graduate Affairs Committee (GAC).
- Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and a major GPA of 3.5 and above.
- GRE scores are required.
- Three letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with their undergraduate work, a writing sample, and a brief personal statement.
An MA degree is optional. Though we are especially interested in students who have a demonstrated interest in American Studies, we welcome applications from students with degrees in all fields.
HOW TO APPLY
Please note that we accept online applications only. All applications should consist of the following:
- Application form
- Brief personal statement
- Three letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with your undergraduate work
- Writing sample
- GRE scores
- Official transcripts (including official IU transcripts in a sealed and signed envelope) should be sent directly to the American Studies office.
- Complete online application (http://www.indiana.edu/~grdschl/admissions.php)
- Application fee $55 (must be paid via credit card in online application)
- All application materials must be received by January 2. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Tuition and fee schedule (please visit the web site: Office of Admissions)
For further information about the American Studies application process, please send an email to amst indiana.edu.
- Complete online application (http://ois.indiana.edu/admissions/apply/graduate/apply.php)
- Application fee $65 (must be paid via credit card in online application)
- All application materials must be received by December 1. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Tuition and fee schedule (please visit the website: Office of International Services)
For more detailed information about international admissions, please contact newtoiu indiana.edu.
Most students are admitted with a multi-year funding package that allows them to work as teaching assistants for faculty.
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.
Note: With the consent of their advisory committee, students can count one class taken outside AMST toward these requirements, though it must be taught by an AMST core or affiliate faculty member. No substitutions are allowed for G603 and G604.
The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) is the initial advisor to each cohort of students. By the end of their first year, however, all students will select a specific advisor from among the core faculty, and will constitute a three person Advisory Committee, which may include members of the affiliate faculty.
THEMATIC PLAN OF STUDY
Together with his/her advisor, the student will complete a thematic plan of study, organizing elective coursework -- taken and planned -- around a chosen focus, and submit it to the DGS at the beginning of every calendar year. The plan of study will be revised each fall, beginning in the second year of coursework, and resubmitted at the start of each year until the student has completed his/her coursework.
- Students will take an exam in two parts: an examination conducted over the course of one day and an additional oral examination.
- Students will prepare two lists for the exam. The first is a mandatory list of texts that reflects critical moments in the theories and practices of American Studies. The second list, consisting of approximately 50 works, will be put together by each student in consultation with his/her advisor. The list should reflect the interests of the student's interests and the work of American Studies scholarship. The goal of this list is to encourage students to think of the ways that the field of American Studies complements and allows them to develop their interests, and how their work, in turn, contributes to the field.
- The oral exam will take place two weeks after completion of the written exam, and will last two hours.
- The exam committee is composed of the student's Advisory Committee plus a representative of the student's minor concentration.
- The exam will be offered twice a year, at the end of the fall and spring semesters (it may be repeated once, if necessary).
Before the Exam
- Students preparing for the exam should plan on consulting the director of graduate studies about the exam and their topic-specific reading list in the semester prior to the proposed exam date.
- All students must submit a draft of their list together with an explanatory cover letter at least THREE MONTHS in advance of the exam, in order to allow sufficient time for discussion and any needed revisions. Final versions of these documents must be submitted no later than SIX WEEKS in advance of the exam.
The students will take a seven-hour, written exam in which they will select and answer one question from each of the following two categories:
The Projects of American Studies
Questions in this section of the exam will address the institutional contexts and intellectual history of American Studies with emphasis on the salient shifts in the understanding of the "field"--its objects, aims, and methodologies.
- Critical Problems
Questions in this section of the exam will address how the student's discipline-based research both benefits from and contributes to the work of American Studies. Students should expect to formulate their research interests both topically (by reference to a particular object of study) and conceptually (by reference to the stakes in constructing/investigating such an object). Questions will ask how students are influenced in framing their object of study by the interdisciplinary and increasingly transnational context of American Studies.
Students are not allowed to consult books, notes, or any other materials during the exam.
DISSERTATION COMMITTEEStudents will work with their advisor to form a dissertation committee of at least four faculty members total, including a representative from their doctoral minor. Upon the constitution of the dissertation committee, the student's advisor will become chair. If possible and relevant, the student will choose an additional representative from outside of IU. A member of the core faculty will chair, or co-chair, each dissertation committee. Untenured faculty members in AMST are allowed to chair dissertation committees.
The dissertation proposal shall be defended orally, as shall the dissertation itself. The proposal should be defended in the semester following the successful completion of the qualifying exam. All dissertation defenses are open to the public.
The student must have received acceptance of his or her dissertation and must submit a copy to the University Graduate School within seven years after passing the qualifying examination.
Students must complete a minor in another department, program, or field. The minor should normally be completed by the end of the student's third year. No courses may be cross-counted towards the minor.
Foreign Language Study
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 Student Foreign Language Exam (GSFLE) in French, German or Spanish. Students whose dissertation projects demand more in-depth knowledge of a particular language should work with their advisor to determine what higher level of proficiency beyond this requirement will be necessary to ensure success.