MA/MS in American Studies Requirements
Those applicants who have been admitted to the American Studies degree program will work out a program of study with either the American Studies Director or the Folklore Director. Generally, students develop their programs with a focus in American literature, folklore, or history. Interdisciplinary connections with many other departments at USU are possible, including Art History, Anthropology, English, Environment and Society, History, Journalism and Communication, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology, among others. Students may choose the American Studies Standard specialization or the Folklore specialization. The American Studies degree requires 30 credits.
Students in the American Studies Standard specialization must take ENGL 6600 /HIST 6600 (American Studies Theory and Method) in their first semester. Students must also take at least one course in a department other than English, which means the course listing must be something other than ENGL. Courses in folklore, technical communication and rhetoric, creative writing, or English education do not count as courses outside of the English department. Students also have the opportunity to take one upper-division undergraduate course as part of their degree coursework. All students in the American Studies Standard Specialization must complete a thesis project, which can follow either the Plan A or the Plan B model. For the Plan A option, students must complete 24 credits of graduate coursework and write a six-credit thesis, with an oral defense meeting. For the Plan B option, students must complete 27 credits of graduate coursework and write a three-credit paper or creative project with an oral defense meeting.
Students in the Folklore specialization must take a minimum of five folklore courses specifically (15 credit hours). ENGL 6700 /HIST 6700 (Folklore Theory and Method) is required early in their course of study, preferably the first semester. Students must also take ENGL 6720 /HIST 6720 (Folklore Fieldwork). Internships and Directed Studies do not count toward the minimum required Folklore courses unless approved by the Folklore Director.
To obtain an MA (Master of Arts) degree, students must demonstrate proficiency in one or more foreign languages. Students in American Studies Standard or American Studies Folklore must pass a language requirement in order to receive an MA degree. Without a foreign language, students will receive an MS (Master of Science).
The language requirement for the MA degree may be completed in the following ways:
- Test: Pass a test of written and oral comprehension in an approved foreign language through the Department of Language, Philosophy, and Communication Studies at Utah State University.
- Coursework: Students may satisfy the requirement through one of the following forms of coursework:
- Demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language by successful completion of one course at the 2020 level or higher (or its equivalent)
- Demonstrate proficiency in two foreign languages by successful completion of the 1020 course level (or its equivalent) in one language and the 2020-level (or its equivalent) for the other
- Complete an upper-division (3000-level or higher or the equivalent) in a foreign language grammar or literature course requiring the 2020 level (or its equivalent) as a prerequisite. Note: Conversation courses do not satisfy this requirement.
Students who have passed coursework in a foreign language within the past five years from the date of matriculation into the American Studies program may petition for acceptance of coursework to fulfill the language requirement for the MA degree. Please see the director of your specialization program for more information.
Students completing an MS (Master of Science) degree do not need to fulfill any foreign language requirements.
Of special interest to students in American Studies is the Merrill-Cazier Library, which is a regional depository for federal publications that receives 60,000 to 70,000 government titles each year. The library's Special Collections division contains thousands of historical photographs, an immense store of pioneer diaries and papers, and a strong collection of books and manuscripts relating to the West, the pioneers, the Mormons, cowboys, and cowboy poetry. The Fife Folklore Archives, one of the best folklore archives in the country, contains over 3,400 books on folklore and folklore-related topics. The Special Collections division also serves as the national depository for the American Folklore Society's Papers, more than 50 linear feet of records and documents accumulated during the 114-year history of the organization.