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.

Click here to watch our MAAS Virtual Information Session  

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, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, 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. Master's degrees enhance career development opportunities for regional professionals in a variety of public history and culture organizations, nonprofits, and related institutions.
  3. Students may also use the master’s degree as a stepping-stone to continue to higher education in various Ph.D. fields including American Studies.


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 approaches, 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 or Special Project (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.

4+1 Dual Degree Programs in AFRI, HIST, LITT, PHIL, POLS and SOAN

American Studies, as an interdisciplinary field, offers accelerated dual degree programs in Africana Studies, Historical Studies, Literary Studies, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology. Students majoring in these programs may earn their B.A. degree with a concentration in American Studies, then earn their M.A. degree in American Studies with one additional year of study. These intensive academic programs include all of the courses required within the program major as well as graduate-level courses in American Studies taken in the fourth year. Up to four graduate courses may be applied to the M.A. degree.

Students interested in these programs should consult with their preceptors and the American Studies chair. They should also consider taking GAH 2375 – Introduction to American Studies and/or other General Studies courses with American Studies topics or themes.  

Eligibility Requirements: Students in qualifying programs may declare the concentration at any time.

To take graduate levels courses, students must have achieved:

  • Minimum of 96 credits (senior year)
  • Minimum of 20 credits in program major courses
  • 3.2 GPA minimum in the program major


To apply for enrollment in a Dual Degree Program, contact your preceptor and the Master of Arts in American Studies Program Chair at John.O'Hara@stockton.edu.


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 cumulative GPA of 3.0

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

  1. Click here to start your application.

    • 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 online 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) should be mailed, emailed or dropped off directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

    By mail:

    Office of Graduate Admissions, N-007a
    101 Vera King Farris Drive
    Galloway, NJ 08205-9441



  8. To review international applicant deadlines and admission criteria, please click here.

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 GPA 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

John O'Hara

John O'Hara

Program Chair Professor of Critical Thinking & FRST
Donnetrice Allison

Donnetrice Allison

Professor of Communication Studies & Africana Studies
Patricia Chappine

Patricia Chappine

Adjunct Professor, ARHU, MAHG
Darrell Cleveland

Darrell Cleveland

Associate Professor of Education & Africana Studies
Shawn Donaldson

Shawn Donaldson

Associate Professor of Sociology & Africana Studies
Betsy Erbaugh

Betsy Erbaugh

Associate Professor of Sociology
Robert Gregg

Robert Gregg

Dean, School of General Studies & Professor of History
Deborah Gussman

Deborah Gussman

Professor of American Literature
Adalaine Holton 

Adalaine Holton 

Associate Professor of Literature
Rodger Jackson

Rodger Jackson

Professor of Philosophy
Kristin Jacobson

Kristin Jacobson

Professor of American Literature
Nazia Kazi 

Nazia Kazi 

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Thomas E. Kinsella

Thomas E. Kinsella

Professor of British Literature & Director, South Jersey Culture and History Center
Nathan A. Long

Nathan A. Long

Professor Creative Writing
Gorica Majstorovic

Gorica Majstorovic

Professor of Spanish
Daniel Moscovici

Daniel Moscovici

Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Geology
Sharon Musher

Sharon Musher

Professor of History
Heather Perez

Heather Perez

University Librarian, Special Collections and Archives
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 (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 Series 2023

Rothberg Lyons Lecture 2022

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 Admissions at (609) 626-3640 or E-mail gradschool@stockton.edu.

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