- Our Students: Backgrounds and Goals
- Applying to the M.A. Program
- Graduate Advising
- 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, race, urban culture, work, crime, nature, technology, social science, public memory, popular culture, and much more) and dedicated faculty who are both award-winning teachers and established scholars in their field. In addition, CSUF is in 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. The graduate program also offers students flexbility and the ability to customize their studies: built into the M.A. study plan are opportunities for students to take a number of electives, to develop knowledge in additional disciplinary fields, and to acquire career skills and experience. Finally, CSUF is recognized for its affordability: the university is regularly ranked among the top schools 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. 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.
For students whose eventual goal is a Ph.D. in American studies or a related field, we provide special advisement and training to prepare students for this pursuit. In recent years, our graduate students have been admitted to Ph.D. programs at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, Indiana University, University of Michigan, The University of Texas at Austin, University of Iowa, Michigan State, University of Kansas, University of Maryland, Tulane University, and Washington State University, among others.
The department also welcomes 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.