Graduate Studies

Designated Emphasis in American Studies

Graduate students may work toward a designated emphasis in American studies on their Ph.D. degree documents. Students must initiate the request through their home departments. Guidelines and application forms are available here. Download pdf

In order to receive a formal designated emphasis in American Studies on her or his Ph.D. degree documents, a graduate student must meet the following requirements:

  1. The student must have a designated graduate adviser from American Studies, chosen from among those faculty holding FTEs in the American Studies Department. This adviser will be in addition to the graduate adviser assigned to the student by his/her home department. The student should meet with his American Studies adviser to develop a coherent plan for meeting the requirements for the designated emphasis, preferably before the end of the student’s first year.
  2. A member of the American Studies faculty must serve on the student's qualifying examination committee and/or on the student's dissertation committee.
  3. The student must prepare a significant piece of scholarly writing in the area of American Studies. This writing may take the form of a substantial seminar paper, a master's essay, or a portion of the doctoral dissertation. The student's American Studies adviser will determine whether a particular piece of writing meets this requirement.
  4. The student must take five graduate courses in the field of American Studies. One of these must be the introductory proseminar offered by the American Studies Department. The remaining courses can be selected from among relevant graduate offerings of any UCSC department or program, but the specific courses used to meet this requirement must be approved by the student's American Studies adviser. The specific courses used must reflect a coherent plan of study that embodies both breadth and focus. With the approval of the American Studies adviser, one of the five required graduate courses may be an independent study.
  5. The student must serve as a teaching assistant in at least one American Studies course or teach an American Studies course independently in the regular curriculum or in summer school.
  6. At the completion of all requirements for the designated emphasis in American Studies, the student should secure the signed approval of his/her American Studies adviser and the Chair of American Studies, and submit the completed form to the American Studies Office. A copy will be sent to his/her home department as verification that all requirements have been met.