Trinity’s longstanding Master’s program in American Studies provides an advanced interdisciplinary understanding of the field and its research methods.  Built on the interests of its distinguished faculty, the program engages students in hands-on archival, spatial, public humanities, and transnational approaches.

To learn about the Graduate Certificate in Museums and Communities in American Studies, please click here.

Where to Start?  Entry into the degree varies depending on when you start:​

​Fall Spring​ ​​​​Summer
AMST 801.  Approaches to American Studies AMST 825.  Museums, Visual Culture & Theory American Studies elective
  • Full-time students can complete the degree in two years by enrolling in two courses over five terms (including one summer).
  • Part-time students who take one course per term can complete the degree in three to four years.


The M.A. in American Studies consists of 9 course credits:

  • American Studies 801, Approaches to American Studies.
  • Four courses in four approaches: 1 archival course; 1 spatial course; 1 public humanities course; 1 transnational course.
  • Two to three electives: courses selected according to a student’s interest.
  • A 2-credit thesis capstone or 1-credit practicum. The thesis capstone is a guided, independent research effort; the practicum develops American Studies work for educational or public application.

*Two courses taken must be designated as meeting the Professional Development (PD) requirement. PD courses cultivate skills essential to academic and public engagement in American Studies.

Graduate students interested in material or methods featured in an American Studies undergraduate course can apply for registration permission with the instructor and the Graduate Program Director. The student will meet graduate expectations in the course and earn graduate credit.

​​Course descriptions are available on the course schedule page​. You should consult with your academic adviser before registering for courses​.​


1 Foundational Course

  • AMST 801. Approaches to American Studies

1 Course in each of the Four Approaches:

  • Archival – Sampling of courses available
    • AMST 812 Popular Narratives of US History
    • AMST 819 Science Fiction in the Archive
    • AMST 845 Black Women Writers in the 20th and 21st Centuries
  • Spatial – Sampling of courses available
    • AMST 805 Meds, Eds, Slots and Stadiums: Culture Industries and the New Urban Economy
    • AMST 808 Gender, Sexuality, and Space
    • AMST 809 The Digital Image of the City
  • Public Humanities – Sampling of courses available
    • AMST 825 Museums, Visual Culture & Critical Theory
    • AMST 851 Race and Incarceration
    • AMST 869 US Civil War & Its Aftermath
  • Transnational – Sampling of courses available
    • AMST 818 Change of Clothes: Global Networks and North American Clothing
    • AMST 853 Rise and Fall of American Slavery
    • AMST 868 American Labor and Cultural Politics

2-3 General electives

  • Any additional AMST courses, including any undergraduate courses with the permission of the instructors and approval of the Graduate Program Director.


  • 2-credit thesis, or
  • 1-credit practicum

*Two courses must be designated as meeting the Professional Development requirement.