- Our Students: Backgrounds and Goals
- Applying to the M.A. Program
- Graduate Courses
- The Big Choice: Thesis or Comprehensive Exam
- M.A. Comprehensive Exam Reading Lists
- Recent Master's Theses
- Graduate Assistant Positions
- FAQs: Applying to American Studies Graduate Programs
Our Students: Backgrounds and Goals
For students interested in pursuing graduate work in American Studies, the M.A. program at Cal State Fullerton features a vibrant, wide-ranging curriculum (the department offers more than 40 different electives, on topics such as gender, sexuality, childhood, suburbia, work, technology, race, social science, immigration, globalization, public memory, popular culture, monsters, gaming, film, music, and much more); dedicated faculty who are both award-winning teachers and established scholars in their field; proximity to multiple research archives and resources, including the Huntington Library, the Nixon Presidential Library, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Japanese American National Museum collection, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, the Autry Museum of the American West, and the USC and UCLA film and television archives; and affordability: CSUF is regularly ranked among the top universities that do the best job of helping students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.
Cal State Fullerton's American studies graduate students are a diverse group, coming to study with us from a wide variety of institutions and from regions within and beyond California. While some were once our own undergraduates, many have arrived from elsewhere. In recent years, for example, we have had graduate students matriculate from other CSU campuses, from several campuses of the UC system, and from various private colleges in California, as well as from Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, Indiana University, Kent State, North Carolina State University, SUNY Buffalo, University of Minnesota, and University of Wisconsin. In addition, we regularly welcome students from institutions in South America, Asia, and Europe. What they all share is an interest in pursuing advanced work in the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.
Our graduate program is certainly appropriate for students whose eventual goal is a Ph.D. in American studies or a related field. Indeed, a significant proportion of the roughly 65 students presently enrolled in the master's program intend to go on for a doctorate. We provide special advisement and training tailored to the goals of these students. In recent years, our graduate students have been admitted to Ph.D. programs at Boston University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, University of Iowa, Michigan State, Claremont Graduate School, University of Kansas, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, University of Toronto, and Washington State University.
The department is also quite receptive to applications from students with goals other than eventual doctoral study. Our alumni have gone into fields such as high school and community college teaching, educational administration, library sciences, journalism, entertainment, corporate management, filmmaking, public policy, and grassroots organizing. People from a wide range of careers see our program as a means of enhancing their job skills, while still others are enrolled regardless of present or planned employment, simply for intellectual challenge and fulfillment.