The graduate degree in American Studies is an interdisciplinary, individualized program that trains professionals by combining graduate-level academic work drawn from eight departments and five colleges with practical experience working with museums, historical societies, and community agencies. Some graduates may pursue further academic work at the doctoral level, while practicing teachers with an interest in interdisciplinary study seeking a Master's degree can take these skills back to their classrooms. Other graduates will find work in museums and libraries, help organize community development and arts projects, or develop print and multimedia materials for education and entertainment.
Admission Requirements to YSU's Graduate School
The minimum requirements for admission to YSU's School of Graduate Studies and Research are the following:
- A bachelor’s degree from a college or university certified by a regional accrediting agency (e.g., North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
- An unrecalculated cumulative grade point average in undergraduate work of at least 2.7 (on a 4.0 scale). If an undergraduate course has been repeated, all grades received will figure in the calculation of the grade point average.
- Satisfactory preparation for the graduate program in which the student wishes to enroll as specified by the department of the major.
- A test of written/spoken English, which the University reserves the right to request, of any entering graduate student whose primary language is not English.
- Degree-seeking students having an undergraduate GPA below 2.7 must present a satisfactory score on the general test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or graduate-level subject specific exam as specified by the department of the major.
Admission Requirements for the Master of Arts in American Studies
Students must have an unrecalculated grade point average in undergraduate study of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). The bachelor’s degree may be in any field, but students should have taken at least 12 hours of upper-division coursework in some combination of the arts, humanities, and/or social sciences.
The 36-semester hour program includes core courses in American Studies and a wide range of courses from a number of affiliated departments, including Art, Education, English, History, and Criminal Justice. Students select courses from four focus areas:
- Cultural Studies
- American History
- Working-Class Studies
- Public History
Students select one of two tracks:
Public Practice Track
The public practice track provides students with specific training in strategies and skills for developing public programs. Coursework, a required internship, and the culminating independent project help student develop skills (e.g. museum studies, historic preservation, publication, grant writing, and program planning) useful for work in a variety of public sector institutions and non-profit agencies.
The teaching track is designed for middle school and secondary teachers. It will be of interest to any teacher who wants to develop interdisciplinary courses or teach about regional history and culture. It is also ideal for those who teach both language arts and social studies. The teaching track also serves the needs of students who plan to engage in teaching in variety of professional contexts, as well as those who wish to pursue a Ph.D. after completing the M.A. YSU’s American Studies faculty have been participants and leaders in several national research projects on teaching.
Thesis / Non-thesis
The thesis option is intended for students who expect to continue graduate study or teach in secondary schools or community colleges. The non-thesis (independent project) option leads to a terminal degree.
Internships & Projects
A variety of internship opportunities are available as part of the M.A. (As noted above, an internship is required of those students on the Public Practice Track.)
Students must also complete an independent project, which might take the form of a major research project, the design and promotion of a special exhibit at a museum, the development of an education program at a local library, or completion of a planning project in cooperation with a local community development agency. Students will work closely with a committee of YSU faculty and community specialists to design and implement their individual projects.
A limited number of graduate assistantships will provide tuition remission and a stipend to full-time students who will work as teaching or research assistants.