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Graduate Certificate

The Certificate in American Studies has been designed to complement students’ disciplinary training, expose them to interdisciplinary trends in the academy, and broaden their career possibilities. The American Studies Certificate provides graduate students with training across an array of American Studies disciplines as well as training in interdisciplinary methodology. It teaches students to do innovative and original research as well as to produce scholarship that can reach outside the boundaries of the University and make a contribution to the communities in which they work and live. The Certificate provides students with a valuable professional credential and strengthens their ability to compete for jobs as well as national fellowships and postdoctoral awards

The Certificate in American Studies is open to any student enrolled in graduate study at Vanderbilt University.

Requirements for Graduate Certificate in American Studies

The Certificate in American Studies is open to any student enrolled in graduate study at Vanderbilt University. Acceptance to the program requires the approval of both the Graduate Director of the student’s home department and the Director of the American Studies Program. Students must also submit an application that includes a one-page rationale for their course of study to the American Studies Graduate Committee for approval. Courses taken at Vanderbilt University prior to admission to the program may be counted toward the Certificate requirements with the approval of the Director. The awarding of a Certificate requires an overall GPA of 3.3, satisfactory performance of B+ or better in AMER 300, completion of all distributional requirements, and successful completion of the Graduate Certificate paper.

  1. American Studies 300. Major approaches. Introduction to interdisciplinary American Studies: major debates, research methods, theoretical terms and directions.

  2. Four additional graduate-level American Studies courses appropriate to the student’s program of study. Courses must be approved by the Graduate Committee for credit and should include at least three courses outside the student’s home discipline. The students’ total course work must include courses from at least three different departments. One course may be satisfied through an independent study with a faculty member affiliated with the American Studies program, with the approval of the Director of American Studies. 

  3. A paper (30pp) or comparable project submitted to the Graduate Committee for evaluation. The paper must demonstrate the application of an American studies methodology to research, teaching, or fieldwork. It should be a synthesis of interdisciplinary American Studies work in the context of the student’s primary field. The candidate should identify two readers from different disciplines to advise and assess the paper. Papers should be submitted in a timely fashion, preferably by the end of class work and before dissertation work commences.

Approved List of Courses

AMERICAN STUDIES: 300, Graduate Workshop in American Studies.

ECONOMICS: 329a–329b, Labor Economics.

ENGLISH: 320, Studies in American Literature; 321, Studies in Southern Literature; 325, Seminar in British and American Literature (when an American Topic is offered); 337a, Introduction to Literary Theory (when an American Topic is offered), 337b, Special Topics in Literary Theory (when an American Topic is offered); 350, Special Problems in English and American Literature (when an American Topic is offered); 355, Special Topics in English and American Literature (when an American Topic is offered).

HISTORY: 371a, Studies in Early American History to 1783; 372a, Studies in the Middle Period of American History, 1783–1861; 373a,Studies in United States History, 1861–1900; 374a–374b, Studies in Recent American History; 375, Seminar in Recent American History; 378a, Studies in History of the South; 380a, Studies in American Diplomatic History; 381, Topics in American History; 384a, Studies in American Social History; 384b, Seminar in American Social History; 385a–385b, Studies in the Intellectual History of the United States.

PHILOSOPHY: 350,Readings in Philosophy (when an American Topic is offered); 351, History of Philosophy (when an American Topic is offered); 352, Topics in Philosophy (when an American Topic is offered); 353, Figures in Philosophy (when an American Topic is offered); 363, Modern Philosophy (when an American Topic is offered); 364, Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (when an American Topic is offered); 365, Twentieth-Century Philosophy (when an American Topic is offered).

POLITICAL SCIENCE: 330, Studies in American Politics; 331, Party Politics; 332, Political Parties and Electoral Behavior; 333, Political Culture, Opinion, and Behavior; 335, Politics of American Legislation; 336, The Judicial Process; 339, Research in American Politics; 370, Topics in Political Science (when an American Topic is offered).

RELIGION: 3464, Healthcare Ethics, Theory and Practice

SOCIOLOGY: 301, Classical Sociological Theory and Major Theorists; 302, Contemporary Theory; 331, Survey Seminar on Inequalities and Movements; 333, Survey Seminar on Cultural Sociology; 335, Survey Seminar on Deviant Behavior and Social Control; 339, Survey Seminar on Political Sociology; 343, Survey Seminar on Social Psychology; 345, Survey Seminar on Social Stratification; 361, Special Topic Seminars on Social Phenomena at the Macro Level; 363, Special Topic Seminars on Institutions and Organizations; 367, Special Topic Seminars on Norms, Power, and Related Normative Phenomena; 368, Special Topic Seminars on Social Processes and Social Change.

SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE: 354, The Politics of Identity in Latino U.S. Literature.

WOMEN AND GENDER STUDIES: 301, Gender and Sexuality: Feminist Approaches; 302, Gender and Pedagogy.

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