M.A. in American Studies

The Master of Arts in American Studies program provides an advanced interdisciplinary degree for students seeking professional and personal advancement through the liberal arts. The degree and certificate programs are tailored to fit a variety of career goals as well as to provide preparation for professional degrees or doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences.

Degree and certificate candidates could seek careers -- or enrich their careers -- in public relations, education, law, market research, journalism, government, museums, auction houses, libraries, and nonprofit work. The program’s international approach to American studies will, furthermore, prepare graduates with skills to understand globalization and the relationship of the United States with different parts of the world.


MA in American Studies Statement Supporting Black Lives Matter

The faculty of the Master of Arts in American Studies program join the American Studies Association, Stockton University, and others across the globe to affirm Black Lives Matter and to pledge to do the necessary anti-racist work to create institutional change in our program as well as on our campus and in surrounding communities. We acknowledge the dangerous role of anti-black racism in the US and stand against all structures of racist policing and white supremacy. 

To this end, the graduate faculty in American Studies pledges to be a leader in graduate education on our campus by offering courses and public lectures that address and are informed by the anti-racist pedagogies that will foster such institutional change. Specifically, our program offers the campus an opportunity to consider the history of anti-black racism and the devastating role of prisons and policing in Black life. 

Our classrooms, scholarship, and co-curricular events are positioned to offer vital spaces for reflection and dialogue about U.S. culture. 

  • For example, we will continue our Why the Humanities Matter Series, which offers professional development hours to area teachers. The 2020-21 academic year will prioritize workshops on racial justice and anti-racist pedagogy.
  • Emory University Professor of English Rosemarie Garland-Thomson will be the Spring 2021 Paul Lyons Memorial Lecture Series speaker. Her talk will address "Building a World that Includes Disability." 
  • Several of our classes deal explicitly with themes such as white supremacy, anti-black racism, and/or the expansion of the US prison and criminal enforcement system and the impact on Black communities, including Ethnography of the United States, Space, Place and Power, Literature of the Americas, Contemporary America, Africans in the Americas, Identity Narratives in Black Culture, Red Summer, The Sixties, 1930s America, and Slavery and Civil Rights in U.S. History. 

Our faculty and graduate students welcome opportunities to meet with community and campus groups to share our expertise and to learn from, record, and amplify your experiences. Please contact the Graduate Director, John O’Hara if you would like to partner with us in our commitment to deliberative dialogue.

As graduate faculty we pledge to uphold inclusive admission and teaching practices to reduce barriers to graduate education and completion. We pledge to support the work of our disciplinary and interdisciplinary area studies undergraduate programs and recognize the leadership provided by Stockton’s Africana Studies Program

In closing, this statement serves as a pledge of accountability: we will hold ourselves accountable and expect our community to do so as well.

About the Program

American Studies asks what it means to be “American.” It interrogates the forces that hold Americans together, while also recognizing that “America” has always been a contested category whose meaning has changed over time. American Studies at Stockton is also decidedly transnational--emphasizing hemispheric, diasporic, and transatlantic approaches to American history and culture.

The American Studies program builds on Stockton University’s long-standing commitment to the  interdisciplinary education of scholars. The program’s faculty members are respected scholars in traditional disciplines, such as literature, history, art history, and communications, as well as interdisciplinary fields, including Latin American and Caribbean studies, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, Native American studies, Africana studies, Jewish studies, postcolonial studies, and studies of American culture and the environment.

Graduate students enter Stockton’s American Studies program from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of skills, professional experiences, and research interests. They will find a community of scholars and a range of resources to complement their specific interests and allow them to pursue their personal and professional goals.

Professional Benefits

Stockton’s American Studies curriculum prepares students to apply to Ph.D. programs in American Studies or other related fields. The degree also provides post-baccalaureate training for a number of professions. Professional benefits for students are three-fold:

  1. Master’s degrees enable teachers to improve their professional qualifications and earn promotions.
  2. The certificate and MA programs enhance career development opportunities for regional professionals in a variety of public history, nonprofit, and related fields.
  3. Students may also use the master’s degree as a stepping-stone to further their education and continue to higher education.


The curriculum provides two basic models for two different groups of students: a) those who are coming to the University with a completed bachelor’s degree and wish to earn a master’s degree; and b) those who wish to earn a certificate in American Studies.

M.A. in American Studies

Students with a bachelor's degree who wish to earn a master’s degree will complete 30 credits from a menu of courses (see curriculum below).

MAAS Curriculum - 30 credits

Core Courses- 6 credits

Proseminar in American Studies (3 credits) - This course provides an introduction to American Studies, including a history of the field from its origins to the present. Students will be introduced to a selection of exemplary American Studies texts.

Research Methods in American Studies (3 credits) - This course provides students with the analytical tools they will need to do interdisciplinary research in American Studies. We will examine a variety of approaches, methods, and theoretical perspectives, such as archival research, textual analysis, oral history, cultural studies, and theories of gender, race, ethnicity and sexuality.

Electives- 24 credits

Periods Electives (P) - Examine a particular historical time period from the perspective of multiple disciplines and intellectual paradigms. Course offerings include “Contemporary America” and “The Sixties”.

Approaches and Applications Electives (A) - Explore a particular theoretical or methodological approach in American Studies. Course offerings include “Critical Theory & American Studies,” “Museum Studies,” and “Documenting America”.

Topics Electives (T) - Interrogate a particular issue or theme related to the cultures of the United States and/or the Americas. Course offerings include “The U.S. and the World,” “Literature of the Americas,” and “Africans in the Americas”

* Students choosing to complete a master's thesis will engage in a 6-credit, two semester research tutorial directed by an American Studies faculty member serving as the Thesis Advisor. * Students completing internships must also fulfill assignments outside of their internship developed by their on-site supervisor (Internship Coordinator). A 3-credit internship is available (90 hours) and a 6-credit internship is available (180 hours).

American Studies Certificate of Graduate Study

The Certificate in American Studies allows students to earn advanced training in American Studies without committing to a master’s degree program. The certificate program requires 15 hours of graduate credit. This includes five courses, two of which must be AMST 5000: Proseminar in American Studies and AMST 5001: Research Methods in American Studies. Certificate students are also required to complete three American Studies elective courses.

American Studies Certificate of Graduate Study Curriculum - 15 Credits

Core Courses- 9 credits

AMST 5000: Proseminar in American Studies (3 credits)

AMST 5001: Research Methods in American Studies (3 credits)

One of the following two courses:

  • Critical Theory and American Studies (3 credits)
  • Internship (3 credits)

Electives- 6 credits: Certificate students take one or two American Studies (AMST) elective courses in one or more of the categories listed below. Students may choose to take one course in another Stockton graduate program or to complete an internship to fulfill three of the six required elective credits.

Periods Electives (P) - Examine a particular historical time period from the perspective of multiple disciplines and intellectual paradigms. Possible courses include “1930s America” and “The Age of Revolutions.”

Approaches and Applications Electives (A) - Explore a particular theoretical or methodological approach in American Studies. Possible courses include “Feminist Theory,” “Theories of Race and Ethnicity,” and “Museum Studies.”

Topics Electives (T) - Interrogate a particular issue or theme related to the cultures of the United States and/or the Americas. Possible courses include “Literature of the Americas” and “Sustainability and the Humanities.”

For course descriptions, please visit The University's Course Catalog.

Dual Degree Program in Literature and American Studies

The undergraduate Literature Program at Stockton offers an accelerated dual-degree program that allows Literature majors to earn a B.A. in Literature and M.A. in in American Studies in five years. This intensive academic program of study includes all of the courses within the Literary Studies concentration Literature major as well as all of the courses required in the Master of Arts in American Studies program. Literature majors interested in applying for the Literature/American Studies Dual Degree Program should initially enroll in the Literary Studies concentration in the Literature major in their freshman or sophomore year and then apply to the Dual Degree Program once they meet the eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Minimum of 96 credits
  • Minimum of 20 credits in LITT courses
  • 3.2 GPA minimum in the Literature major
  • Grade of C or better in LITT 2114 and LITT 2123

To apply for enrollment in the Dual-Degree Program in Literature and American Studies, contact the Dual Degree Advisor.

Admissions Criteria

Application Deadlines

While graduate admissions selection committees review applications until the start of the semester, by applying prior to the Priority Deadline, you can ensure that your transition to Stockton is as smooth as possible: you will be invited to the New Student Orientation Event, and have access to priority registration which means you may have more options for monthly installments of a payment plan, as well as greater options for class selection.

Priority Deadlines:

Fall: July 1
Spring: December 1

Prerequisite Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0

To be considered for admission to the Master of Arts in American Studies program, applicants must submit the following:

  1. Discover Stockton Online Application (you must create a Discover Stockton Account)
    • If you are a recent Stockton graduate, check to see if you qualify for the Direct Entry Option.
  2. Application fee: $50 (non-refundable), submitted with your online application
  3. Graduate application essay
  4. Three current letters of recommendation written specifically for admission to the MAAS Program sent electronically via the Discover Stockton Application (2 recommended from faculty)
  5. Testing requirements (waived for students with U.S. or Canadian undergraduate degrees with a 3.0 or higher).
  6. Resume
  7. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended (including Stockton) mailed or dropped off directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions

Standardized test scores (GRE or MAT) are required for international applicants without U.S. or Canadian degrees and for applicants with lower than a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A.; standardized test scores are optional for students with a 3.0 G.P.A. or above with a U.S. or Canadian undergraduate degrees from an accredited institution.

Yes. Students may take up to three class (9 credits) as a non-matriculated student. Please review the instructions on the Non-Matriculated Registration page.

The University accepts up to nine credits of appropriate graduate study from other colleges and universities, subject to approval by the MAAS Director. Credits earned from American Studies courses taken prior to matriculation in the program are treated as transfer credits; the combined credits from transfer courses and courses taken as a non-matriculated student may not exceed nine credits. Graduate Transfer Equivalency Form

Please review the instructions on the Application Process page.

Direct Entry is an application option for recent Stockton graduates. To be eligible for direct entry, the applicant must have a 3.4 minimum G.P.A in the program and 3.2 cumulative. Direct Entry applicants are not required to submit GRE or MAT scores, letters of recommendation, or an application fee. Visit the Direct Entry website for more details about this option.
Courses will be offered in a traditional, face-to-face setting as well as online (hybrid and distance education) and summer intensive courses. Classes will be in the evening to cater to working professionals.
Classes are generally held at Stockton’s main campus in Galloway.

While graduate admissions selection committees review applications until the start of the semester, by applying prior to the Priority Deadline, you can ensure that your transition to Stockton is as smooth as possible: you will be invited to the New Student Orientation Event, and have access to priority registration which means you may have more options for monthly installments of a payment plan, as well as greater options for class selection.

Priority Deadlines

Fall: July 1
Spring: December 1

Yes. Stockton undergraduates who have successfully completed 96 semesters hours of undergraduate credit by the time the graduate course begins will be eligible to enroll. Students must have earned at least a 3.2 overall G.P.A. Please complete the Undergraduate Access Form and have your preceptor and the American Studies Director sign the form. Signatures from the course instructor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator are not required for American Studies. 

Program Faculty

Robert Gregg

Robert Gregg, Dean, School of General Studies & Tenured Professor of History

Deborah Gussman

Deborah Gussman, Professor of American Literature

Adalaine Holton 

Adalaine Holton , Associate Professor of Literature

Kristin Jacobson

Kristin Jacobson, Professor of American Literature

Nazia Kazi 

Nazia Kazi , Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Thomas E. Kinsella

Thomas E. Kinsella, Professor of British Literature

Nathan A. Long

Nathan A. Long, Professor Creative Writing

Gorica Majstorovic

Gorica Majstorovic, Professor of Spanish

Michelle McDonald

Michelle McDonald, Interim Provost & VP for Academic Affairs & Tenured Associate Professor of Atlantic History

Daniel Moscovici

Daniel Moscovici, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Geology

Sharon Musher

Sharon Musher, Associate Professor of History

Robert Nichols

Robert Nichols, Professor of History

John O'Hara

John O'Hara, Associate Professor of Critical Thinking & First - Year Studies

Patricia Reid-Merritt

Patricia Reid-Merritt, Distinguished Professor of Social Work & Africana Studies

Javier Sanchez

Javier Sanchez, Associate Professor of Spanish

Wendel White

Wendel White, Distinguished Professor of Art

Current Students

Financing Your Education

Learn about ways to finance your graduate education at Stockton. These inlude Graduate Assistantships, Distinguished Research Fellowships, Need-based Financial Aid Foundation Scholarships, EOF Graduate Grants, and Personal Resources.

Applying for a MAAS Graduate Assistantship

Applications should be emailed to the MAAS Director. They should include the following:

  1. An application, see the Graduate Assistantship handbook, pp. 10-11 (including the application form and a letter of interest/cover letter)
  2. An up-to-date unofficial copy of your MAAS transcript (only MAAS grades are relevant. There is no need to include undergraduate transcripts or transcripts from earlier institutions).
  3. Newly enrolled students who have not previously received grades in MAAS, should contact two of their current MAAS professors and ask them to fill out the GA recommendation form available here. Complete recommendations should by emailed by the professor directly to the current MAAS Director.

Students who have previously or are currently working as GAs, should ask their most recent GA sponsor to fill out the same form. Your recommender should email the form directly to the MAAS Director.

Outstanding Achievement in American Studies Award

Each spring, the Outstanding Achievement in American Studies Award will be given to an advanced MAAS student who produces a project that stands out as unusually persuasive and well-developed, that successfully investigates a topic in a novel way, or significantly impacts the larger community. Recipients of the award are nominated by the student’s professor or project advisor and chosen by an Awards Committee including three American Studies faculty members.

Society for American Studies

The Society of American Studies seeks to promote knowledge of American Studies as an academic area of study and as a professional career choice. This Society shall serve as a means of uniting students currently enrolled in the Master of Arts or Certificate in American Studies programs, while enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the field of American Studies. As a discipline, American Studies has examined the forces that have historically held together Americans, the ongoing debates over what it means to be “American,” and the counter discourses created by those who have historically been excluded from that identity. It has also investigated how multiple American cultures have shaped and continue to influence individual, local, regional, national, and transnational identities and power. Such an approach places diverse American cultures within a global context, tracing the intersecting flows of people, ideas, and power across national borders.

The Society of American Studies meets regularly to socialize, explore professional opportunities, and plan and attend events that promote American Studies. Check the Society of American Studies OspreyHub page for updates about meeting times and places.


The Paul Lyons Memorial Lecture Series

Paul Lyons

Stockton University presents an annual lecture series in honor of Professor Paul Lyons. This series brings to Stockton leading regional, national, and international scholars in American Studies. Intended for general audiences, the lectures draw on the scholars from the Humanities and the Social Sciences, and appeal to students in a wide range of undergraduate programs (History, Literature, Philosophy, Sociology/Anthropology, Political Science, Economics) as well as graduate ones (MAED, MAHG, and American Studies).

Learn more 


Paul Lyons Memorial Lecture poster


Why the Humanities Matter

Summer Institute for Teaching

Learn More

Apply today. If you have further questions you can Request More Information or call the Office of Graduate Studies at (609) 626-3640 or E-mail gradschool@stockton.edu.

Dr. John O'Hara
Program Chair, M.A. in American Studies Program
Associate Professor of Critical Thinking & First - Year Studies