American Studies, MA

Six versions of an American flag and text that says American Studies

The American Studies graduate program at the University of Massachusetts Boston has earned a national reputation as one of the top MA programs in the field. Our graduate program in American Studies centers on a core of courses focused on the contested meanings of culture, citizenship, democracy, community, politics, race, gender, and sexuality in the United States. We offer a flexible program of study designed to introduce students to various interdisciplinary approaches to historical analysis and to enable students to undertake their own research projects. Faculty specializations include comparative race, ethnicity and culture; literature and history; popular culture; queer/sexuality studies; cultural studies; American popular music; and travel and tourism.

Special Opportunity: Two-Week American Studies Summer Institute
A Polarized Society: Understanding America’s Fault Lines and Their Historical Roots

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
July 11–22, 2016; 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Speakers will discuss the historical roots of conflicts within our nation over issues such as immigration, gun control, terrorism, campaign finance, racism, and congressional deadlock. 

Part of the American Studies master's program, you'll earn 3 credits.

Apply here!

Students enter the program from a variety of backgrounds and pursue a broad range of goals. Some are recent college graduates; others are students returning to school after a number of years. Some have been residing in the Boston area; others have applied from undergraduate colleges around the country or have come as international students. Some hope to ultimately pursue PhDs and positions in university teaching, others plan to teach at the secondary or community college level. Some desire educational enhancement for positions currently held, others seek career changes or personal enrichment. All share a background of accomplishment and a desire to explore the diversity of American culture.

Our graduates have gone on to do work in areas such as public policy, education, advanced doctoral studies, nonprofits, and academic publishing. Learn more about our graduate alumni here. Please contact Graduate Program Director Bonnie Miller to learn more about the program and all that it offers to students and graduates.


As the only public university in Boston, the cost of the American Studies graduate program is less than programs offered by neighboring private institutions. The MA program offers a limited number of teaching assistantship to full-time students that place graduate students in undergraduate classes with professors in the department. Most graduate assistants work 4.5 or 9 hours per week during the semester(s) they are supported. Assistants receive a stipend in addition to tuition remission and partial fee payment including health insurance.