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American Studies means the multidisciplinary study of America. It is also a well-established discipline itself, engaged in fashioning a theory and a method for studying American society and culture.

Any student enrolled in a doctoral program at The Graduate Center may participate in the American Studies Certificate Program. In New York City students of American culture find themselves at the center of the nation's communications industry and in one of the world's richest concentrations of cultural, civic, and economic institutions. Among the research resources at their disposal are The New York Public Library, the Mina Rees Library of the CUNY Graduate Center, the libraries of the eighteen CUNY college campuses, as well as dozens of major research museums and libraries. Students have access to a graduate faculty drawn from all CUNY institutions, offering an unmatched breadth and depth of specializations in all fields of American Studies. The American Studies Certificate Program at CUNY also brings American Studies scholars from outside the University to the Graduate Center in a continuing program of guest lectures and seminars.

The American Studies Certificate Program at The Graduate Center prepares Americanists to teach and direct American Studies programs by providing a grounding in the history, theory, and method of the discipline. The Certificate Program also gives Americanists enrolled in CUNY Ph.D. Programs the opportunity to study American culture in American Studies seminars that carry students outside conventional disciplinary and chronological boundaries. Participating CUNY Ph.D. programs include Art History, English, History, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, and Theatre. Upon graduation, students who have fulfilled all requirements receive the Ph.D. from their academic program and a certificate from the American Studies Certificate Program.


The Certificate in American Studies is available to all students matriculated in Ph.D. programs at The Graduate Center. Students do not necessarily have to be working toward the Certificate to take courses offered by the Certificate Program.

For admission to The Graduate Center, write to individual Doctoral Programs, or, for general information, visit the Admissions Office web page or write to: Admissions Office, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10016.


Courses: An approved sequence of four seminars, including 81000 Introduction to American Studies: Histories and Methods; 81500 Themes in American Culture; 82000 American Culture: Major Periods; and a fourth course approved by the Coordinator, in a subject and discipline chosen by the student.

Examination: A written examination on American Studies.

Dissertation: A topic and dissertation committee approved by the program.


Duncan Faherty

Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 100164309

Phone: (718) 997-4668

Mary Frisque

Assistant Program Officer
Graduate Center
Renaissance Studies Certificate Program
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 100164309

Phone: (212) 817-8124