The United States is a country of staggering scale, complexity and diversity. It is the world’s largest economy; one of the world’s most robust and enduring democracies; a superhub of literary, cultural, and artistic creation; an amalgam of racial, ethnic, religious, regional, and gendered identities; and a product of and key actor in important geopolitical events of the past and present.
Intellectually grasping such a far-reaching area of study requires multiple academic perspectives. By approaching the study of the United States from a variety of disciplines, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of this fascinating and often paradoxical country, learn to critically engage and contextualize events and information involving the United States, and maximize their employment prospects for US-related careers in the cultural sector (e.g. journalism, higher education, international affairs), and business at large.
Ghent University’s Postgraduate Program in American Studies succeeds the former interuniversity M.A. in American Studies as the premier program in American Studies in Belgium. The full-time, two-semester, interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to intellectually engage American society in all its richness and complexity. Students will complete seven courses treating American politics, economics, history, literature, and culture, and will prepare a final thesis on a topic of their choice, with the guidance of a member of the Program staff. The Program is open to Belgian and international students with a master-level degree and a strong command of English. All courses are offered in English by a distinguished professorial staff of Belgian and American specialists. Students will enjoy access to the extensive archives of the Belgian Royal Library’s Center for American Studies, in addition to the considerable resources of Ghent University. Student life in the beautiful, bustling and historic city of Ghent completes the student experience.
Upon completion of the Program, students will:
• Have an in-depth understanding of the theoretical, methodological and historical questions that animate the American Studies discipline.
• Understand the position of American Studies within the larger group of ‘area studies’ disciplines.
• Be aware of the limits and possibilities of the interdisciplinary approach as it is practiced in American Studies.
• Be capable of gathering and critically interpreting American Studies scholarship.
• Be able to evaluate the historical, cultural, social, political and economic significance of current events involving the United States.
• Be able to analyze media coverage of the United States.
• Be able to persuasively communicate their point of view in a logical and coherent way, both in writing and orally.
• Be self-aware of the ideological position he/she occupies as a researcher and a citizen.
• Be capable of contributing to the advancement of American Studies scholarship in Flanders, Belgium, and abroad.
Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate of postgraduate education.
International Student Requirements:
There are additional requirement for international students requiring a student visa. Consult http://www.ugent.be/en/teaching/admission/degreestudent/requirement to learn more.