Study programme

American Studies

The Master's in American Studies offers a one-year programme in which you look at the United States' international presence, examining the way it affects other countries and cultures politically, economically, militarily and culturally.

Programme overview

In the first semester of the Master's in American Studies, you will explore the different ways in which American and European intellectuals analyse America, as well as their respective attempts to grasp the critical differences between American and European traditions. You will also examine America as a cultural presence in European mass media, including film, radio, television, photography and advertising. The second semester allows you to delve deeper into your area of interest and concludes with a Master's Thesis.

Programme structure

The Master's programme American Studies comprises 60 ECTS credits:

  • 42 credits for core courses and electives.
  • 18 credits for a Master's thesis.

Core courses

The first semester of the programme comprises two core courses.

America Inside Out: International Perspectives on the United States

In this course, you will explore foreign perspectives of the United States: prose, poetry, music and visual arts from many regions, illuminating hitherto unseen dimensions of American culture and the impact of the U.S. abroad.

Major Issues in American History

In this course, you will focus on major debates surrounding American history and culture, paying close attention to the key theoretical and methodological issues in American Studies scholarship.


In the second semester, you can tailor your programme to your own interests through a broad range of electives. Electives include courses in American Studies as well as courses offered by other Master's programmes in history. Subject to approval by the Examinations Board, you may also select electives from other Master’s programmes at the UvA or at other universities in the Netherlands.


The Master's thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of an academic staff member involved in the programme. The subject of the thesis must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the academic adviser.

Detailed course information

For detailed course information, see:

Credit transfer

Students who show exceptional promise during a regular or professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in a research Master's programme. Once students are admitted to the research Master's programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their Research Master's degree. The Examinations Board determines which courses qualify for transfer.


Published by  Faculty of Humanities

4 June 2018