American Studies

Graduate Study

Learn about the M.A. and Ph.D. program options in American Studies.

Our department began as a graduate program in 1945 and consistently ranks at the top. Our graduate training focuses especially on social justice, community engagement, structural racism and inequality, recovery of historical silences, American empire, public art, and public history, to name a few thematic foci.  Our pedagogy embraces work that moves beyond the textual to the visual, material, and performative. And our faculty are engaged teachers and dynamic mentors.

Our alums go on to competitive doctoral programs, law school, non-profit work, research positions, secondary teaching, journalism, activism, and corporate positions, and we believe that as a consequence of their work at Brown they are better prepared to see their work realized within meaningful local, national, and global contexts.

The graduate program in American Studies at Brown University is highly selective. We usually receive about 180 applications each year.
The American Studies M.A. program is cohort-centered and community-based.
The primary goal of the Ph.D. program in American Studies is to train students to become knowledgeable, engaged, and productive scholars and public humanists.

The Graduate Student Handbook lays out in detail the requirements, timelines, and components of the graduate program in American Studies. It also contains information on departmental and university resources for graduate students.

Download the Handbook