UPDATE ON GRADUATE ADMISSIONS
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of American Studies has decided to suspend graduate admissions for the current cycle—which means that we will not be admitting students for enrollment in the 2021-22 academic year. In this period of extreme uncertainty and precarity, we decided that it would be wise to focus our budgetary and human resources on current graduate students, many of whom have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
We look forward to a robust recruitment cycle for students to be admitted in the 2022-23 school year.
Prospective students are welcome to visit campus to meet faculty appropriate to their interests and talk with graduate students about day-to-day life in the program.
Schedule a Visit
Please email AMST Interim Director of Graduate Studies Nancy Mirabal to arrange a visit.
Interim Director of Graduate Studies
All applications are made through the Graduate School at the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland has gone paperless and no longer prints paper applications. The Graduate School requires prospective students to submit all application materials online at http://www.gradschool.umd.edu/application.
We admit students once per year, for the following fall semester. For best consideration, the deadline for submission is December 15.
We will only review complete applications. We will, however, contact you to let you know what we are missing and remind you of the deadline.
You must send in an application including Statement of Purpose and research interests, all transcripts from any institutions of higher learning that you attended, three letters of recommendation with rating sheets, GRE scores and a writing sample of approximately 10-15 pages (no partial documents or excerpts please).
NOTE: If you took the GRE prior to the last two years, please submit a copy of your official score report from ETS.
We do accept students with an undergraduate degree only as well as those with M.A. degrees. We are looking to admit students who are able to present the strongest applications.
Every effort should be made to secure letters of recommendation from those who can best address your readiness to undertake graduate study. This may be a combination of both professors and supervisors.
The University of Maryland code is 5814. Our department code is AMST.
Although we do take GRE scores into account when we review applications, we don’t put as much weight on them. We have admitted students with Verbal GREs between 280 and 800. But the GRE isn’t an especially good predictor of success in our program. We require it because we cannot award fellowships or GAships to students who have not taken the GRE. From the standpoint of the UMD American studies department, you need not place a great deal of emphasis on the quantitative portion of the exam; we do not consider or report that score. We are more interested in the following:
- your personal statement about why you want to study with us
- what you want to study
- your writing sample
- your CV or resume, and
- your letters of recommendation.
NOTE: Applicants with GRE scores that have expired must retake the exam. GRE scores expire after five years.
Writing samples should be no longer than 10-15 pages. A writing sample of this length allows for the best review and evaluation of both analytic and theoretical skills.
The writing sample can be on any topic. It should be well-written and one of which you are particularly proud.
Fellowships are available on a competitive basis. We also offer some 9.5-month assistantships (although additional summer and winter-term teaching also may be available depending upon departmental needs).
Assistantships pay a stipend (stipend amounts are announced upon acceptance to the program), health benefits (medical, dental and vision) and tuition remission for up to 10 credits per fall and spring semester. Students are financially responsible for books, fees and other incidental expenses.
Assistantships require 20 hours per week of work in the department, some of which are for teaching positions, although new graduate students are not assigned teaching positions in their first year.
Students may also find assistantships throughout campus and these are constantly announced through our department listserv. The department does not help students secure loans. For additional information on funding, including scholarships and student loans, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.
The TOEFL is a requirement for all international students who apply for admission to the Graduate School (except applicants from the United Kingdom, Commonwealth Caribbean, Ireland, Canada, Australia or New Zealand whose first language is English). Native speakers of English are defined as those who have received all of their education in one of the countries listed above.
Teaching assistantships are available to international students. The Test of Spoken English (TSE), Test of Written English (TWE) and TOEFL are required of all international applicants and you take the TSE once you arrive on campus.
International applicants should address any questions to International Education Services, 3117 Mitchell Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-5215, USA (301- 314-7740) http://www.international.umd.edu/ies/
Our website lists our core and affiliate faculty as well as their research interests and other information. You will find a link to the Graduate School website where you can access the online application form and information about the Graduate School.
We recommend you make the decision based on which schools accept you and what they have to offer. When in doubt, apply to both.
Everyone’s program will differ as is everyone’s time to finish the degree, especially since we cannot judge the amount of time you will need for research and writing the dissertation. We suggest you estimate about 5-7 years.
The job market for our graduate students is varied. In addition to academic careers, our students take jobs at national repositories, archival institutions, historic institutions, research and policy institutes, in the government, and at other non-profit advocacy and funding agencies.
The Graduate Studies Committee begins reviewing applications in December. Offers of admission are typically made from January through April. April 15 is the deadline by which admitted students must decline or accept offers unless the admission letter stipulates a later date.
No. But it is a good idea for prospective students to visit the campus to meet with faculty and graduate students and possibly even sit in on a class. Student visits are always welcome.
Individuals may take graduate courses without admission into the program only by being accepted as an Advanced Special Student by the Graduate School. An Advanced Special Student is a student with no degree objectives. NOTE: Advanced Special Student status does not guarantee later admission into the program. No more than 6 credits may later be transferred to the student’s program upon admission into the program and is contingent upon approval of the student’s advisory committee.
To apply for Advanced Special Student status, complete an application in person or online at the Graduate School. Interested individuals are strongly encouraged to discuss their interests with the graduate director. Permission of the instructor is required for taking any course.