Master of Arts in American Culture Studies

The Master of Arts in American Culture Studies is offered through University College, which houses programs aimed largely at adult learners attending the university on a part-time basis. The program provides the training, both in specific disciplines and in cross-disciplinary conversations, to help you answer important questions about American society. It also introduces some of the social, political, and cultural issues that have shaped American culture and identity. Most fundamentally, it provides a critical skill set that fosters analysis of an array of cultural objects -- a place, an event, a work of art, a political institution -- from a rich and diverse foundation of knowledge and perspectives.

Your studies culminate in a self-directed project that allows you both to explore an area of personal interest and participate in a multidisciplinary scholarly community. Part of the excitement of this kind of learning is the opportunity to engage in creative or rigorous exchange with the faculty in the humanities and social sciences at WUSTL, and with leading practitioners in the St. Louis professional and policy world.

Who Should Apply?

The American Culture Studies program attracts students from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds, including humanities and social science fields as well as education, public history, nonprofit management, business, and journalism.

Applicants returning to formal academic study after a number of years’ absence must have an appropriate undergraduate background, and strong writing and analytical skills.

Program Objectives

The Master of Arts in American Culture Studies provides the training, both in specific disciplines and in cross-disciplinary conversations, to help you answer important questions about American society. It also introduces some of the social, political, and cultural issues that have shaped American culture and identity. Most fundamentally, it provides a critical skill set that fosters analysis of an array of cultural objects — a place, an event, a work of art, a political institution — from a rich and diverse foundation of knowledge and perspectives.

Your studies culminate in a self-directed project that allows you both to explore an area of personal interest and participate in a multidisciplinary scholarly community. Part of the excitement of this kind of learning is the opportunity to engage in creative or rigorous exchange with the faculty in the humanities and social sciences at WUSTL, and with leading practitioners in the St. Louis professional and policy world.

Studies may span American literature, history, politics, religion, philosophy, art, music, and film. Recent AMCS courses include:

  • Decoding the City
  • Colonial and Early American St. Louis, 1764-1821
  • The History and Practice of Photography: Its Role in Shaping an American Cultural Identity
  • Studies in American Cultural Identity: The Civil War to the Jazz Age
  • American Folklore in Context
  • Race and Real Estate in St. Louis 1869 - Present
  • "St. Louis Got the Best of Me" : Music in American Culture
  • And Justice for All? American Inequalities

Next Steps

Michael Allen

University College Coordinator, AMCS

allen.m@wustl.edu