A Master’s in American Studies offers a lot of career options in this interdisciplinary field. This program is rooted in the detailed analysis of national and international popular as well as political culture. It provides training on a variety of topics such as social justice, structural racism, the American empire, public art and inequality etc.
A Master’s in American Studies would typically give students a great amount of flexibility to create a study plan based on their interests. They can select courses from a number of departments to create a program that will eventually lead to their desired career field. This could include working in advertising, marketing, public administration, law, media or journalism etc.
If you are interested in this unique field, then the following guide will be of use to you. It lists down all the details you need regarding Master’s in American Studies, including what to expect from it and the potential career choices.
What Are American Studies?
American Studies are exactly what the name suggests – a comprehensive and analytical look into the American culture, politics, literature, history, film and music. Most degrees in American Studies would be focused on the American communities, cultural creations and ideologies. Some universities might also offer a look into the broader American Studies discipline with a focus on ethnic or racial groups in the country, African American studies, Asian American studies, American Indian studies or Latin American studies.
What Can You Do with a Master’s in American Studies?
A Master’s in American Studies is a very broad field, covering a lot of topics. Therefore, there are countless careers you can pick with this qualification. Graduates can find jobs in sectors such as banking, media, accountancy and marketing, politics etc. Graduates can also land jobs in the clerical/secretarial sectors and may also go into various sports fields.
Let’s take a more detailed look into some of the careers you can end up in with a Master’s in American Studies:
Curators are trained professionals responsible for administering collections such as art work, historic items and collectibles for museums or other institutes. Many curators are also involved in instruction, research and other public service activities of their institute of employment.
Median Annual Salary, 2019: $54,570 per year
Average Mean Salary, 2019: $59,130 per year
Projected Growth Rate, 2018-28: 9% (Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers)
State with the Highest Salary, 2019: District of Columbia - $80,760
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019: New York – 1,580
Landscape Architects are responsible for planning and designing land areas such as airports, parks, hospitals, land subdivisions and commercial or industrial sectors.
Median Annual Salary, 2019: $69,360 per year
Average Mean Salary, 2019: $73,970 per year
Projected Growth Rate, 2018-28: 4%
State with the Highest Salary, 2019: California - $90,940
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019: California – 2,510
Urban and Regional Planners
Urban and Regional Planners are in-charge of developing detailed plans and programs for the use of the physical facilities in a given jurisdiction, such as counties, towns, cities and metropolitan areas.
Median Annual Salary, 2019: $74,350 per year
Average Mean Income, 2019: $77,750 per year
Projected Growth Rate, 2018-28: 11%
State with the Highest Salary, 2019: District of Columbia - $109,370
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019: California – 7,980
Note: These figures have been obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What to Expect in a Master’s in American Studies Program?
A Master’s in American Studies program would expose you to a vast variety of topics. Potential areas of concentration would include American History, American Literature, Government and Politics, Popular Culture, Material Culture, Ethnography and Sociology etc.
Coursework would be largely based on your chosen concentration. However, all American Studies majors will be required to get a basic idea of topics like American History, Art, Culture, Research Methods, Bibliography Methods, Contemporary Sociological Theory, Political Science and Africana Studies etc.
How to Choose a Master’s in American Studies Program?
Before you choose a Master’s in American Studies Program, it would be ideal to have a clear career path in mind, since this field is so broad. You should look for accreditation of the program, along with the fee structure, campus facilities, faculty, admission requirements, internship opportunities and job placements etc.
Master’s in American Studies Admission Requirements
To get into a Master’s in American Studies program, students will typically have to have an undergraduate degree, with a GPA of at least 3.0. They will have to fulfill all prerequisite requirements, along with submitting an admission fee, and clearing any admission interviews needed. Most Master’s programs would also require a few years of experience.