Programs by Campus


American Studies
College of Arts and Sciences


Departmental E-mail: amst [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

Program Information

For additional graduate student information, contact Ballantine Hall 521, phone (812) 855-7718, fax (812) 855-0001.

Degrees Offered

Doctor of Philosophy, a combined degree program in American Studies and another discipline (including but not limited to: African American and African Diaspora Studies, anthropology, art history, communication and culture, comparative literature, criminal justice, education, English, folklore, gender studies, history, history of education, journalism, law, philosophy, politi­cal science, religious studies, sociology, Spanish, telecommuni­cations, theatre and drama).

The American Studies Program provides an opportunity to pursue the interdisciplinary study of American society and culture. In the program, students acquire specialized training in one particular discipline as well as firm grounding in interdisci­plinary study. They are encouraged to shape portions of their graduate studies to fit individual needs and interests. Courses in the program are also open to graduate students pursuing a master's degree in another department, special nondegree graduate students, and international students.

Special Program Requirements

See also general University Graduate School requirements.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Admission Requirements

Acceptance into the American Studies Program is contingent upon prior admission by the home department. Students should apply, indicating a desire to pursue the combined doctoral degree in their statement of purpose, which is to be submitted with the application. A copy of the statement of pur­pose and a letter indicating your interests should be sent to the American Studies Program Admissions Committee. Deficien­cies in background may be removed by completing specified courses.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 90 credit hours, of which 32 must be in Ameri­can Studies, 20 hours of core courses including G603 (4 cr.), G604 (4 cr.), G751 (3-4 cr.), and eight additional credit hours, such as G605 (4 cr.), G620 (3-4 cr.), G697 (1-6 cr.), G753 (1-4 cr.), or cross-listed and joint-listed courses taught by American Studies faculty members outside the student's home depart­ment. The 32 credit hours may include 12 credit hours of appropriate courses relevant to American Studies inside the student's home department. Strong encouragement is given to interdisciplinary diversification. The dissertation (minimum of 15 credit hours) should reflect interdisciplinary study and research.

Advisory and Research Committees

The Graduate School requires that students pursuing a com­bined Ph.D. have at least four faculty members on their advisory and research committees, with two from each of the major fields (see the General Requirements chapter in the Graduate Bulletin). While AMST-affiliated faculty in a student’s home department can serve as representatives of American Studies, the program additionally requires that at least one of the AMST representatives on the committee be from outside of the student’s home department.

Qualifying Examination

Students in the combined Ph.D. degree program must take a comprehensive written examination in the field of American Studies in addition to the qualifying examination given in the student's home department. The examination is to be taken after completion of the American Studies course requirements. The examination may be repeated only once.

Final Examination

The oral defense of the dissertation will be conducted jointly with the student's home department. At least two members of the American Studies faculty must be on the student's disserta­tion committee.

Ph.D. Minor in American Studies

Students choosing American Studies as a minor (minimum 12 credit hours) in their doctoral program must complete G603, G751, and either G604, G605, G620, G697, 4 credit hours in G753, or a cross-listed course outside their home department that has been approved by the program director.

Ph.D. Minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies

Students who pursue the Ph.D. minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies will focus their interdisciplinary study on the histories, cultures, and literatures of Native American and Indigenous peoples, chiefly in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, but also, where appropriate, in the broader Americas. This is one of a very few programs in the United States that focuses explicitly on Native American and Indigenous Studies at the graduate level, and that places the study of American Indians within the context of a broader, more sweeping and international inquiry into the nature of political power, colonial settlement, and global contact.

Program of Study

Students are required to submit a "Program of Study" to an af­filiated American Studies faculty member for final approval. Af­ter approval, a signed copy should be sent to the Director. The Program of Study will provide the rationale for the student’s proposed curriculum and will list the courses, with alternative selections in the event such courses are not offered on a timely basis that will serve as the student’s minor program. With the Director’s approval, the student will become officially enrolled in the Native American and Indigenous Studies degree.


Requirements for the Native American and Indigenous Stud­ies Ph.D. 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 with a focus on Native American and Indigenous literature, politics, art, history, culture, and folklore.  Students must complete at least 12 credits of coursework, in­cluding G605, "Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies," which is required. The remaining credits can come from any other American Studies course offered by faculty outside of the student's home department, including G620, "Colloquium in American Studies," with relevant Native or In­digenous content, and a section of G751, "Seminar in American Studies," with relevant Native or Indigenous content, or G753, "Independent Study in American Studies, also with relevant Na­tive or Indigenous content.

For a list of affiliated faculty, students should consult:

Academic Bulletins

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