GRADUATE

Welcome to the graduate program!

 

Welcome to the Graduate Program in American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i in Mānoa! We think you’ll find our program to be unique in its transnational focus and range of faculty expertise in Indigenous Studies, Film and Media Studies, Gender and Sexuality, American Social Movements, Ethnic Studies, Comparative Slavery and Diaspora Studies, and Cultural Studies. Our location in Hawai‘i provides valuable perspectives on themes such as U.S. imperialism (especially in Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific), the intersection of tourism and militarism; the experience of Japanese Americans; the intertwined stories of racism and incarceration in America; and religion in American public life.

Photo by Brett Weinstein / CC BY / Cropped and darkened from Original

MA Program

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.

PhD Program

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.

Study, Change, Engage

Concentrations

Because the expertise of our faculty is broad and diverse, graduate students can shape their course of study in a variety of ways, including…

  • Indigenous Studies, Hawaiian and Pacific Studies
  • Hawai‘i: History, Tourism, Military Presence, and Settler Studies
  • Public History, Memory, and Memorialization
  • State Power, Law, and In/Justice
  • Social Movements, Politics, and Religion
  • Cultural, Performance, and Literary Studies
  • Visual Culture, Film, and Media
  • US-Asia Relations, Inter- and Global Asia Studies, Transpacific Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Diaspora Studies/Transnationalism
  • Critical Ethnic Studies/Racial Formation
  • Museum Studies, Historic Preservation, Material Culture, Urban History

American Studies Careers

A graduate degree in the interdisciplinary fields of American Studies prepares students to approach issues from multiple angles, to advance the cause of social justice, and to imagine creative solutions in an ever-changing world.

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.

Our Masters and Ph.D. grads are:

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

Others have gone on to additional degrees in:

Law, Social Work, Public Administration, Media, Business

Financial Aid

Scholarship + Grants

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: $5000 Merit Scholarships and $10,000 Dissertation Scholarships awarded on a competitive basis.

Non-Resident Tuition Waivers

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 NRTWs 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

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, 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.