American Studies (PhD)

Department Website

Program Description

American Studies at NYU is one of the country’s top-ranked programs in this dynamic field. An interdisciplinary program housed in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, it studies United States society in national, hemispheric, and global frameworks. It draws on faculty strength in a wide range of fields, including history, area studies, literature and film, gender studies, critical ethnic studies, political economy, and urban and environmental studies. The program interprets “American” in a broad sense to include assessments of the historical role of the United States in the Americas and, more generally, in world affairs. Students are exposed to a range of methodologies in the social sciences and humanities, including ethnography, textual analysis, archival research, and cultural studies.

The American Studies Program is designed as a transdisciplinary course of study, meant to prepare students for a wide variety of appointments and careers in academic, cultural and public institutions.

Interdepartmental by definition, the student’s course of study is arranged with the director of the program and the director of graduate studies (DGS) and includes seminars offered in the program and selected courses offered in the following departments, programs, and institutes: AnthropologyCinema StudiesComparative Literature, EnglishFine ArtsHistoryJournalismMedia, Culture, and CommunicationsMusicPerformance StudiesPhilosophyPoliticsSociologyVisual Culture.


All applicants to the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) are required to submit the general application requirements, which include:

See American Studies for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.