M.A. Requirements

General William and Mary requirements are found in the Graduate Catalog.  A more detailed discussion of requirements is found in the American Studies Graduate Student Handbook (pdf).

  1. Course distribution
    1. A two-semester introductory seminar (661-662), designed to provide a broad framework for the study of American culture and society.
    2. Formal courses and independent readings, designed to prepare the student in a coherent field of inquiry. The courses, readings, and field will be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
    3. Two courses of directed study during which the student undertakes the research and writing of the Master’s thesis, under the supervision of a faculty member in an area of American Studies.
  2. A thesis, based on original research, which develops a coherent argument and makes a contribution to the study of American life. The thesis, supplemented by an oral defense before a faculty committee, will serve as the M.A. field examination in American Studies.

The M.A. degree can be completed in one calendar year, with students taking 12 credits each semester. Students who enroll in the program on a full-time basis are expected to submit their theses no later than the beginning of the next academic year. Alternatively, students may elect to pursue the M.A. on a part time basis, taking up to six years to complete the requirements.