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Kennesaw State University

Master of Arts in American Studies Program

Kennesaw, GA


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Kennesaw State University


American Studies at Kennesaw State University

The sole American Studies graduate program in Georgia, the MA Program in American Studies at Kennesaw State University offers an interdisciplinary study of American cultures as they exist locally, regionally, nationally, and transnationally. The course of study grounds students in the most important and innovative recent scholarship concerning the United States and its role in the world. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in practical, project-based learning linked to their own professional development needs and interests. Students will not only learn cutting-edge approaches to the study of American history, politics, literature, arts, and culture, but they will also apply this knowledge through group work, collaboration with faculty, community engagement , and career-related capstone projects. Our regular teaching faculty specialize in cultural studies approaches to American social movements, critical prison studies, immigration and literary history, Native American literary cultures, creative non-fiction writing, urban studies, disability studies, art history, and public history.

The MA Program in American Studies curriculum consists of thirty-six credit hours and a foreign language requirement. Two required core courses, taken in the first year, provide students with a historical perspective on contemporary American Studies scholarship and an introduction to interdisciplinary research methods. Students choose four additional American Studies courses, one from each of the following clusters: Historical Studies, Place and Identity, Cultural Production, and Transnational American Studies. Regardless of the subject matter of a particular course, students can usually find ways to complete projects that fit their own learning goals. Though all of our classes develop writing and research skills through the use of traditional academic research papers, many of our faculty are open to curricular design projects, film and web-based projects, and/or service-learning projects. All students complete an applied research project, an internship or attend a study-abroad program.

The program is supplemented by three elective courses which can be fulfilled with additional American Studies courses or by any graduate-level course in the University System of Georgia. Alternatively, students may transfer up to nine hours of graduate credit from another university. There are a wide variety of options to suit students pursuing academic or non-academic careers; electives may include courses in history, literature, public administration, creative and/or technical writing, computer science, social media, museum studies, or education.

The MA program concludes with a two-semester Capstone Experience. This requirement can be met by either a traditional academic thesis or other kind of project. As long as a student can find two faculty members to advise him or her, s/he can do almost anything that makes sense within the framework of American Studies. Some examples of student Capstone Experiences in the past include an ethnography of "emo" youth culture, a project teaching theater in a women's prison, a public history exhibition plan about gay and lesbian characters in comic books, and a historical and literary analysis of anti-immigration activism in the United States.

The foreign language requirement may be met by passing the equivalent of a KSU Foreign Language 2002 course with a grade of C or better, a proficiency test administered by the Department of Foreign Languages at KSU, or graduate-level coursework indicating language proficiency. Students may complete this requirement either before or concurrent with the MA Program. Some students choose to meet this requirement through a summer study-abroad program in Mexico.

The MA Program in American Studies at Kennesaw State University is part of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department, which has programs in African and African Diaspora Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Asian Studies, Peace Studies, and Religious Studies. Faculty members from all of these programs are eligible to teach and/or advise capstone projects.

More information about the curriculum, current students, recent alumni, and faculty members can be found on our website. Information on applying and on other graduate programs at Kennesaw State University is available via the KSU Graduate College.


Kennesaw State University

Founded in 1963, Kennesaw State University (KSU) is the third largest university in Georgia with more than 24,100 undergraduate and graduate students representing 142 countries.

KSU is located just northwest of Atlanta in Cobb County near historic Kennesaw Mountain, allowing students to experience the best of Atlanta while enjoying the serenity of a 384-acre, beautifully landscaped pedestrian-friendly campus.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), KSU offers 80 bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree programs. KSU's national reputation has gained steam and was recognized by "US News & World Report's" America's Best Colleges issue in 2010 as one of the top universities in the region.


Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Arts (MA)

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE
1 Foreign Language
Thesis Optional



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline July 1st July 1st No
Spring deadline November 1st November 1st No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 550
TOEFL IBT score: 80
IELTS: Required IELTS Paper score: 7

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards April 1
Types of financial support available Research Assistantships

Location & Contact

Address 402 Bartow Avenue, Room 2019
Kennesaw, GA  30144
United States
Contact Ms. Rebecca Hill
Phone: 470-578-7543