The Graduate Certificate in American Culture Studies (AMCS) enables doctoral students to develop multidisciplinary expertise and encourages them to bring that added competence to bear in dissertation research that, while satisfying the demands of their principal disciplines, is broad-based and informed by studies from across the humanities and the social sciences.
AMCS brings together a community of graduate students and faculty with overlapping interests in American topics. Through formal and informal intellectual exchange, they share knowledge, methods and ideas across the boundaries that define the traditional academic disciplines. This intellectual community promotes the give-and-take of ideas, making graduate study more stimulating and graduate research more original and creative.
Students who satisfy certificate requirements will receive the Graduate Certificate in American Culture Studies along with the award of the PhD. This is one of several interdisciplinary certificates offered by the Graduate School. The certificate helps its holders to build academic careers — including careers that involve interdisciplinary teaching — and to develop distinctive research profiles.
Graduate Certificate in American Culture Studies
The Graduate Certificate in American Culture Studies is awarded to students who complete the PhD in a department of the Graduate School and who satisfy the following requirements:
- Complete 15 credits of course work, structured as follows and in consultation/cooperation with the student and their home department:
- The core seminar (3 credits), Introduction to American Culture Studies (AMCS 645).
- Two multidisciplinary courses (6 credits) on American topics (400 level or higher) designed in explicitly multidisciplinary terms. Courses that satisfy this requirement will be determined in consultation with the graduate director.
- Two extradepartmental courses (6 credits) on American topics (400 level or higher) based in fields that complement course work in the home department, to be determined in consultation with the graduate director.
- Routine consultation with the AMCS Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), in addition to consultation with the student's principal PhD adviser.
- Completion of a PhD dissertation in the home department, with the AMCS faculty adviser often serving as one of the "outside" readers on the oral defense committee and the dissertation defense committee.
- Maintenance of good standing within the AMCS program through regular participation in program functions and events.
- Americanist Forums. Attendance at the monthly colloquium series (held on Thursdays from 5-6:30 p.m.) is expected, with exceptions related to residency, leaves, fieldwork and dissertation research.
Students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in AMCS have the opportunity to teach a course in AMCS. To be eligible to teach for the AMCS department, students must have completed the certificate and mentored teaching experiences required by their home departments. Interested students should contact the AMCS DGS to learn about the process for proposing a course. Course planning should begin well in advance; we recommend that students begin talking with the AMCS DGS and their PhD adviser at least one year prior to the semester in which they hope to teach.
For more information about program activities and requirements, please visit our Graduate Studies webpage.