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We explore the intersections of culture, identity, diversity and everyday life.

Welcome to the Department of American Studies

Founded in 1945, the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, is considered to be one of the leaders in the field nationwide. As one of the oldest and best regarded American studies departments, we pride ourselves on dynamic and innovative teaching, cutting-edge research and close collaborations with Washington, D.C.’s cultural institutions.

In American studies, talented faculty work closely with students in small class settings to explore:

  • Diversity and Identity
  • Social Activism in American Life
  • Media Studies
  • Public History and Culture
  • Public Service in and around Washington, D.C.

As American studies is an interdisciplinary field, faculty and students combine two or more of these concentrations in research and teaching. For more information about how our faculty engage in research areas, please visit the research page of this site. Beyond the core faculty in the program, the department also has approximately 72 affiliate faculty spread across 20 departments and programs.

We offer Ph.D. and M.A. degrees at the graduate level. Our graduates are placed within some of the best colleges, universities and cultural institutions worldwide. Our undergraduate curriculum continues to offer an interdisciplinary approach that draws widely on the university’s superb resources in the humanities and social sciences as well as the intellectual resources of the Washington, D.C. area. Our majors also have the option to minor in U.S. Latino/a studies or take part in the Native American Studies Program.

Our faculty, affiliates and students are involved with a wide array of activities throughout the year. Please visit our Events page to see details about upcoming events of interest to the American studies community.

American studies gives me the tools to explore social issues and allows me to recognize our shared and independent experiences. My professors are helping me cultivate an understanding of the world around me and investigate ways to facilitate meaningful inclusion for all the marginalized people in society.


The department has been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of my professional career by providing me the opportunity to present my work to faculty and students in a formal setting, serve on university committees and develop my own syllabi and courses. Most importantly, I have forged lifelong relationships that have helped carry me throughout the process of pursuing my graduate education.


Our department is full of activist scholars. And artist scholars. And artivist scholars. I love that.


Despite living and working in Baltimore, the Department of American Studies at College Park continues to feel like an academic home. The varieties of scholarship as well as the diversity and critical engagement from fellow graduate students fuel my scholarship – on campus and from afar.