Master of Arts in American Culture Studies
The 30-credit M.A. in American Culture Studies (AMCS) offers adult learners multiple perspectives on the cultures, values, and people of the United States.
Studies may span American literature, history, politics, religion, philosophy, art, music, and film. Recent AMCS courses include:
•Literature of Nature and Democracy
•Heaven and Earth Magic: Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music
•Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States
•Art and St. Louis History
•Oil Wars: America and the Cultural Politics of Global Energy
Courses normally are offered once a week in the late afternoon or evening. Students may start the program in the fall, spring or summer terms.
Admission to the M.A. in American Culture Studies program is open on a selective basis to:
•Qualified adults in the St. Louis area who are at least two years beyond the baccalaureate degree.
•Recent college or university graduates are expected to have a cumulative grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better.
•Applicants who are returning to formal academic study after a number of years' absence must have a strong undergraduate background in one of the disciplines represented in the American Culture Studies program, strong writing and analytical skills, and a clear understanding of their reasons for pursuing this degree.
Applicants must submit the following:
•a completed Application for Graduate Admission form, including an essay of 300-400 words clearly describing their interest in and qualifications for the program;
•a non-refundable $35 application fee;
•Official transcripts of all previous college work (undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate); (University College can request the transcript(s) on your behalf, click here for the transcript release form)
•at least two letters of reference. Academic references are strongly encouraged. In any case, letters should speak to academic skills such as writing ability.
•a recent writing sample.
A personal interview with the program coordinator is strongly recommended.
Admission Time Line
University College and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences review completed applications and make admissions decisions on a rolling basis. The process typically takes four to six weeks, and so we urge applicants to submit their materials by the following schedule in order to ensure a timely decision: mid-November for spring; mid-April for summer; mid-July for fall. If you plan to apply for federal financial aid, please note that this process can take six to eight weeks. It is suggested that applicants begin by completing their FAFSA at the time of application. For additional information about Financial Aid and step-by-step Financial Aid application instructions, click here.
Total Number of Credits Needed for Graduation: 30. Most courses are three credits. A maximum of 6 credits of related and comparable graduate-level course work may be transferred from another university or from a related graduate program at Washington University with the approval of the program director. These must be graduate-level units not used to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements. Transfer credit may be granted only for authorized courses for which the student received a grade of B or higher.
Minimum Grade Point Average in ACS Courses: 3.0 (or B)
Required Courses and Distribution Requirements:
• Humanities – two courses from literature, history, religion or philosophy
• Social Sciences – two courses from anthropology, education, economics or political science
• Arts – two courses from music, art history or theater/film
• Nine additional credits from course work on American culture
At least five courses must be core seminars based in American Culture Studies. Home-based courses in American culture Studies generally cover material from a range of disciplinary fields and areas. The category of a particular course is determined by the discipline that is most heavily weighted in the class and/or by the nature of the core questions around which the course revolves. The distribution of each home-based course will be noted in its description.
The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.