Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree is structured to support both wide, multi-disciplinary inquiry through challenging coursework with scholarly concentration around an original research question. Candidates must complete 30 credit hours that meet program distribution requirements in order to graduate. While not required, candidates are strongly encouraged to enroll in at least one course with a field work component, to broaden understanding of the social and geographic dimensions of American cultural topics. Most courses in the program are three credits, but topical 1.5 credit courses are offered occasionally.

Credit Transfer
A maximum of 6 credits of related and comparable graduate-level course work may be transferred from another university or from a related graduate program at Washington University with the approval of the program director. The program will not transfer credits from any college or university that were used to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements. Transfer credit may be granted only for authorized courses for which the student received a grade of B or higher.

Required Courses and Distribution Requirements

  • Humanities (6 hours): Literature, history, religion or philosophy.
  • Social Sciences (6 hours): Anthropology, education, economics or political science.
  • Arts (6 hours): Architecture, music, art history or theater/film.
  • Electives (9 hours): Any courses in American Culture Studies or substitutions approved by the advisor.

The program strongly recommends that students take Introduction to American Culture Studies. This course will be counted as an elective, and is offered on a biennial basis. At least five courses counted toward the degree must be home-based courses in American Culture Studies.

The category of a particular course is determined by the discipline that is most heavily weighted in the class and/or by the nature of the core questions around which the course revolves. The distribution of each home-based course will be noted in its description. Students work with their academic advisor to determine where a course fits in the distribution.

The minimum grade point average required for graduation is 3.0 (or B).

Michael Allen

University College Coordinator, AMCS