American Studies home page

Tips and Strategies

Writing Your Statement of Objectives

In screening applicants the faculty examines the Statement of Objectives with particular care. Therefore, we strongly advise you to compose a thoughtful and articulate essay. The Statement should describe your areas of special interest, your plans for pursuing those interests in our department, and any background information on your training or experience that will assist us in evaluating your application.

Letters of Reference

Letters are most effective when the writer is very familiar with your academic work. The recommender should be able to assess your academic accomplishment and your specific aptitude for graduate work in this field.  If you’ve engaged in non-academic activities pertinent to American Studies – such as public service or artistic production – or if you have life experiences that impel your intellectual journey, you may want to have among your recommenders somebody who can speak to those activities.

It is recommended that you refer to “FAQs: Applying to American Studies Graduate Programs” prepared by the Graduate Education Committee of the American Studies Association.