University Scholars Program in American Studies

The University Scholars Program in the Department of American Studies will allows academically gifted undergraduate majors in American Studies to begin graduate study during the senior year of their undergraduate program. American Studies majors admitted into the University Scholars Program will be able to earn a B.A. in American Studies and an M.A. in American Studies in five years. Additional benefits of this program to eligible students include:

  • Faster, and potentially more economical, completion of two degrees.
  • Richer undergraduate degree experience, fewer unrelated core courses and more courses in the major.
  • Opportunity to hone their analytical and strategic thinking in American Studies. For example, the opportunity to become involved in research projects earlier and for a longer time period.
  • Stronger mentoring relationship with the faculty.
  • Greater opportunity to develop understanding of the field in preparation for doctoral work.

The first two years of undergraduate study focus primarily on completing University core curriculum requirements and courses fundamental to the American Studies major. Admission into the University Scholars Program occurs in two phases. Admission to both phases is by invitation only, although the department welcomes inquiries from students interested in the program.

Phase I will begin at the beginning of the third year, after the successful completion of 61 semester hours of study with a 3.3 overall GPA or better.

Phase II will begin after the completion of 91 semester hours, with a 3.3 overall GPA or better, when the student applies for admission to the Graduate School.

Beyond the numerical qualifications, invitation by the Department is based on the student’s demonstrated potential and motivation for graduate work, as well as timely progress toward completion of the B.A. in American Studies. Upon admission to the Graduate School, the student will be allowed to take graduate-level courses and begin a program of study leading to the M.A. in American Studies.

Phase I of University Scholars Program

Admission to Phase I will follow the department’s recognition of a student’s talents, motivation, and potential for graduate study. The decision to extend a University Scholars Program invitation will be made by a committee of three faculty members: the Chair, the Graduate Program Director, and the student’s undergraduate advisor. After contacting the student in person and describing the University Scholars Program, the committee will extend a formal written invitation. The invitee will work closely with both his/her undergraduate advisor and the American Studies Graduate Program Director in selecting courses for the junior and senior years and beyond. These students will take at least two more undergraduate American Studies courses during their third year.

Phase II of University Scholars Program

Admission to Phase II will occur when the student is officially admitted to the Graduate School. Application for graduate study is also by invitation and is facilitated by, but not dependent upon, participation in Phase I.

Admission to the Graduate School will be granted based on the following criteria:

  1. The student has been invited by the Department to join the University Scholars Program.
  2. The student has met the minimum requirements for graduate admission (see “Admission Criteria” in the Graduate Catalog)
  3. The student has an overall GPA of at least 3.3 in all courses.
  4. The student has completed at least 30 undergraduate hours in residence.
  5. The student has completed at least 91 undergraduate hours and three-fourths of the hours required for the major and the minor.
  6. The student has met all University core curriculum requirements.
  7. The student has submitted a score for the required graduate admission test that meets the minimum requirements for unconditional admission.
  8. The Department has recommended to the Graduate School that the student be admitted.

Upon admission to Phase II at the start of the senior year (91 undergraduate hours completed), the University Scholars student will take at least one more undergraduate American Studies course. At the same time, the student will begin a program of study leading to the M.A. in American Studies. No more than 15 hours may be dual counted towards both the bachelor’s and graduate degree. In the fifth year of the program, after the BA has been awarded, University Scholars Program students qualify to hold Graduate Assistantships and are eligible to hold other graduate fellowships.

For more information about this proposal, please contact Prof. Michael Innis-Jiménez, Graduate Program Director; or Prof. Lynne Adrian, Department Chair.

Sample 5 year plan

B.A. in American Studies and M.A. with non-thesis option. Please note: The M.A. with thesis option will NOT be available to University Scholars.

YEAR 1

Course Credits

AMS 150 3

AMS 151 3

HY 203/205 3

HY 204/206 3

Freshman Comp 3

Freshman Comp 3

Natural Science (N) 4

Natural Science (N) 4

Soc/Beh Sci (SB) 3

Math 3

TOTAL HOURS 32

YEAR 2

AMS 231 or 205 3

AMS 232, 203 or 204 3

EN 200 level–American 3

AMS elective 3

Fine Arts (FA) 3

Soc/Beh Sci (SB) 3

Minor 3

Minor 3

F.Lang/Computer 3/4

F.Lang/Computer 3/4

TOTAL HOURS 62/64

YEAR 3

Course Credits

AMS 300+ “W” 3

AMS 491 or 492 3

AMS 300+ “W” 3

AMS elective 3

AMS elective 3

Minor 3

Minor 3

Minor 3

Minor 3

Elective 3

TOTAL HOURS 92/94

YEAR 4

Course Credits

Elective 3

Elective 3

Elective 3

Elective 3

AMS 500 level* 3

Elective 3

AMS 585* 3

AMS 586* 3

AMS 595* 3

AMS 596* 3

*Counts for undergraduate elective

TOTAL HOURS 122/124

B.A. Complete at this point

YEAR 5

Course Credits

AMS 591 or 592 3

AMS 591 or 592 3

AMS 589 1

AMS 597 1

Graduate Elective 3

Graduate Elective 3

Graduate Elective 1-3

TOTAL GRADUATE HOURS 30/32

M.A. Complete at this point