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American Studies (MA)

Course Description

In this programme students look at the United States as an international presence, examining the way it affects other countries and cultures politically, economically, militarily and culturally. The different ways that American and European intellectuals analyse America and their respective attempt to grasp the critical differences between American and European traditions are also studied. In addition, students explore America as a cultural presence in the European mass media, including film, radio, television, photography and advertising.

Programme outline
The programme comprises two core courses and four electives. Students must complete a total of 40 ECTS credits in coursework and 20 credits in the form of a Master's thesis. The specific number of credits that a student is required to obtain through coursework is determined by the admissions committee and is based on the student's previous qualifications. Fulfilment of all of the requirements will take at least one year.

Detailed course information
For detailed course descriptions, follow the link below to the UvA Course Catalogue.

Refer to
UvA Course Catalogue
The Master's programme in American Studies includes a required thesis equivalent to 20 ECTS credits. The thesis topic must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser, and the student must submit a written proposal to the programme's board of examiners. The thesis should be between 20,000 and 25,000 words.

American Studies at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has evolved in a unique way. Unlike other programmes of its kind in Europe, it has not developed from the study of American language and literature. Instead, it has always been interdisciplinary, combining history, the social sciences and literary studies.

While the programme has always considered the United States from an international and comparative perspective, it has recently been expanded to include the new global perspective. Central themes in the programme are: American democracy, American-European diplomatic and military relations, the Americanisation of Europe and allegations concerning American cultural imperialism.

Studying American Studies at the University of Amsterdam

As home to one of the largest American expat communities in the Netherlands, Amsterdam offers a fascinating range of real-life examples on the basis of which to examine the Americanisation of a major European cultural centre. Our lecturers are not only specialised in the field of American studies, but also come from an extremely broad range of academic backgrounds, thereby ensuring that the courses are highly interdisciplinary.

Accreditation and degree

American Studies is a track of the Master's programme in Geschiedenis (History). The quality of this Master's programme has been positively assessed (accredited) by the Accreditation Organisation of The Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme students will receive a legally recognised master's degree and the title Master of Arts (MA).

Credit transfer

Students who show exceptional promise during a Regular or Professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a Research Master's programme. Once students are admitted to the Research Master's programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their Research Master's degree. The examination committee determines which courses qualify for transfer.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the Master's programme should have at least a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent in history with 30 ECTS credits in American Studies courses. The level of the Bachelor's degree must be comparable to that of a Dutch Bachelor's degree.

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