Admission


Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions

Undergraduate Majors and Minors Admissions

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Students planning to major in American studies should take AMS 100 and AMS 110 during their first and second years. As soon as a student decides that American studies is a possible major, he or she should schedule an appointment with the undergraduate director to declare the major and consider concentration options, ideally no later than the second year.

Admission to the Major

Students applying for admission to the AMS major should have completed with the following courses with a minimum GPA of 2.75:
  • ENGL 102 or ENGL 105 (unless the student has received a waiver or, for transfer students, an equivalent course)
  • AMS 100 or AMS 101
  • AMS 110 or AMS 112
When to Apply

Students are encouraged to apply for the major during the semester in which admission requirements will be completed. This is normally no later than 60 hours. For transfer students, application to the major is normally during the initial term at KU. Application to this major after completion of 60 hours, or the initial term for transfer students, will likely delay graduation.

Applying for the American Studies Major

To apply for the AMS Major, please contact the Department office at 785-864-4011 or amerst@ku.edu to schedule an appointment with a faculty advisor.

Majors must complete required courses in each of the following areas:

  • Introduction to American Studies. Satisfied by AMS 100 or AMS 101.
  • American Identitites. Satisfied by AMS 110 or AMS 112.
  • The United States in Global Context. Satisfied by AMS 332 or SOC 332.
  • Theory and Method. Satisfied by AMS 360 and 1 additional course that explores methodological and theoretical approaches used in American studies. See your advisor for appropriate options
  • Capstone Experience. Satisfied by AMS 550.

Additionally, all majors choose one of seven concentrations in order to focus their studies. Each concentration requires 12 hours of coursework (4 classes), some of which may be offered by departments other than American Studies.

The seven concentrations are:

  • American Cultural Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Jazz Studies
  • Local and Global
  • Popular Culture
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Religions in America

We encourage students to discuss their interests with their advisor and together choose which of these areas best suit their interests and goals.

By application, advanced students may pursue a focused project of research or service under the supervision of a faculty member. Satisfied by AMS 551, AMS 552, or AMS 553.

 

Minors and Double Majors

American Studies majors are encouraged to take a minor or second major in a related field, such as History, English, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Religion, African Studies, Economics, or Psychology. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the American Studies major, a minor or second major can be achieved reasonably within the usual four years of undergraduate study. Under current College policy, a minor or co-major is required for BGS students.

To apply for the U.S. Latino/a Studies Minor, please contact Professor Christopher Perreira at cperreira@ku.edu to schedule an appointment.

Please contact a Department of American Studies Advisor.

Please contact a Department of American Studies Advisor.

Please contact a Department of American Studies Advisor.

Graduate Admissions

Students are admitted into the department for entrance in the upcoming fall semester. To be eligible for most KU fellowships, awards, and assistantships, applications must be received by January 5.The final deadline for fall admission is May 1, however, applications received by January 5 will receive priority.

To be considered for admission, a student must hold a bachelor’s degree. Admission is based primarily on the applicant’s statement of academic objectives, record of prior studies at the undergraduate or graduate level, and references from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic work. Evidence of preparation for graduate study may include substantial work in American Studies or related fields, such as American history, literature, art, media, sociology, anthropology, political science, journalism, or interdisciplinary studies.

Required Application Materials

  • A completed application form and non-refundable application fee submitted online to Graduate Admissions. The application fee - $65 for domestic applicants, $85 for international applicants - is paid via secure server.
  • A copy or scan of official transcripts from each college and post-secondary institution you have attended. Copies of official transcripts should be uploaded directly to the online application. If admitted, applicants will be required to submit official, sealed transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions within the first semester of enrollment in the program.
  • A statement of academic objectives describing your intellectual development, previous academic training, and areas of academic interest. (The quality of this statement is an especially important factor in the decision of our admissions committee - please limit to 2 pages).
  • A current résumé or curriculum vitae summarizing your academic background and relevant work experience
  • Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic abilities, potential, and preparation for graduate study
  • A sample of your written academic work. 
  • The Office of Graduate Studies requires applicants, international or domestic, whose native language is not English to demonstrate English proficiency. Please see Graduate Admissions' English Proficiency Requirements webpage for additional information.

Students are admitted into the program for entrance in the upcoming fall semester. The final deadline for fall admission is January 10 to ensure applicants are eligible for most KU fellowships, awards, and assistantships. 

To be considered for admission, a student must hold a bachelor's degree. Preference may be granted to students who hold a master's degree in American Studies or a related field. Admission is based primarily on the applicant’s statement of academic objectives, record of prior studies at the undergraduate or graduate level, and references from persons familiar with the applicant’s work. Evidence of preparation for graduate study may include substantial work in American Studies or related fields, such as American history, literature, art, media, sociology, anthropology, political science, journalism, or interdisciplinary studies.

Required Application Materials

  • A completed application form and non-refundable application fee submitted online to Graduate Admissions. The application fee - $65 for domestic applicants, $85 for international applicants - is paid via secure server.
  • A copy or scan of official transcripts from each college and post-secondary institution you have attended. Copies of official transcripts should be uploaded directly to the online application. If admitted, applicants will be required to submit official, sealed transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions within the first semester of enrollment in the program.
  • A statement of academic objectives describing your intellectual development, previous academic training, and areas of academic interest. (The quality of this statement is an especially important factor in the decision of our admissions committee - please limit to 2 pages).
  • A current résumé or curriculum vitae summarizing your academic background and relevant work experience
  • Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic abilities, potential, and preparation for graduate study 
  • A sample of your written academic work 
  • The Office of Graduate Studies requires applicants, international or domestic, whose native language is not English to demonstrate English proficiency. Please see Graduate Admissions' English Proficiency Requirements webpage for additional information.

Current KU Students

Current graduate students wishing to enroll in the Graduate Certificate program will apply online through the Graduate Admissions. Students must be in good standing with their home graduate degree program in order to participate in the certificate program. Required application materials:

a. A letter stating your interest in American Studies and its relationship to your graduate course of study
b. A current copy of your KU advising report
c. A letter of support from your faculty advisor or your department's director or graduate studies

Non-KU Students

Non-KU graduate students must complete an application to through Graduate Admissions for admission into the certificate program and submit a $30 application fee along with the following materials:

a. A letter stating your interest in the American Studies Graduate Certificate program
b. A copy or scan of your official degree-conferred undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts
c. 2 letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic work or potential graduate study
d. The Office of Graduate Studies requires applicants, international or domestic, whose native language is not English to demonstrate English proficiency. Please see Graduate Admissions' English Proficiency Requirements webpage for additional information.

Students seeking admission to the dual degree program must meet the established admission requirements of each program, but only one application form is required. You can find the dual American Studies and Urban Planning (MA/MUP) application on the Graduate Admissions application form.

Application Requirements

The Department of American Studies accepts applications for graduate non-degree-seeking status. Typically, non-degree-seeking applicants do not intend to work toward an advanced degree. Applicants interested in applying for graduate non-degree-seeking status must identify the courses in which they wish to enroll prior to completing the online application. Permission to enroll in a graduate-level American Studies course must be granted by the instructor of the course. 

Non-degree-seeking applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The suggested application deadlines are July 15 for fall admission and December 15 for spring admission.

Required Application Materials:

  1. A completed application, along with a non-refundable application fee, submitted online through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  2. A statement of academic objectives. The statement should cover: (a) the courses you hope to enroll in and your reasoning behind selecting those particular courses, (b) your relevant experience and background, (c) your preparedness for completing graduate-level coursework, and (d) anything else you think is important for us to know. If you believe your academic record does not reflect your potential to perform well as a non-degree-seeking graduate student, please provide an explanation.
  3. A copy or scan of your official degree-conferred undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts
  4. The Office of Graduate Studies requires all applicants, international or domestic, whose native language is not English to demonstrate English proficiency. Please review Graduate Studies' English Proficiency Requirements webpage for additional information.

For more information about our undergraduate and graduate program offerings, please visit our Academics page.

Undergraduate Program Contacts

Graduate Program Contacts