The 30-credit MA program provides advanced training in the interdisciplinary study of American history, culture, and society. Students gain a broad understanding of American Studies as an academic field, including its historiography, theories, and methods. They also acquire a general knowledge of U.S. history across periods and themes; training in subfields of the students’ interest; and advanced skills in research. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows freedom and flexibility to tailor the course of study to students’ own interests and goals while also grounding them in the field of American Studies.
The PhD program offers professional training in the interdisciplinary study of American history, culture, and society. In addition to a broad understanding of American Studies as an academic field, students gain expertise in their chosen fields of specialization that prepares them for careers in academia, public humanities, and other related professions. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows freedom and flexibility to tailor the course of study to students’ own interests and goals while also grounding them in the field of American Studies.
A graduate degree in American Studies leads toward a range of rewarding career options. American Studies M.A. and Ph.D. students hone skills in critical inquiry, independent research, and writing that are crucial to success in a variety of professions. Trained to cultivate curiosity, think broadly, and research deeply, American Studies graduate students use evidence to develop arguments, analyze social needs, and communicate their discoveries. As analysts, writers, and critics, and sometimes as artists, directors, and performers, American Studies graduates engage media and the arts.
University Professors, Editors, Public Historians, Policy Makers, Legislators, Museum Curators, Historic Preservationists, Cultural Resource Managers, Journalists, Community College Faculty, Archive Managers, Librarians, Park Service Officials, K-12 Educators, Filmmakers, Media Producers, University Administrators, Visual and Performing Arts, Not-for-Profit and Community Organizers
Law, Social Work, Public Administration, Media, Business
Students are strongly encouraged to apply for local, national, and international grants and fellowships as well as for University of Hawai`i scholarships advertised through the STAR system. The Graduate Chair holds regular grant-writing workshops and informational sessions for students seeking external funding. In addition, applications open each spring for the American Studies Merit Scholarship Program: Merit Scholarships of varying amounts and $12,000 Dissertation Scholarships awarded on a competitive basis.
Each semester the Graduate Division allots to the department a small number of Non-resident Tuition Waivers, distributed to meritorious international or out-of-state students. These NRTEs lower the cost of out-of-state tuition to in-state tuition plus fees, and last for two years. Students may not hold a NRTE concurrently with a Graduate Assistantship. Renewal is dependent upon meeting the required grade point average.
Graduate Assistantships enable select doctoral students to assist a faculty member in teaching an undergraduate course. Graduate Assistantships, including multiyear packages, are awarded on a competitive basis, and offer both a monthly stipend and a full tuition waiver. Renewal requires satisfactory progress to degree. Advanced Ph.D. students may be appointed to teach an undergraduate course independently. The department circulates information about the application process each spring.