American Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 6.59 k / Year(s)  
StudyQA ranking:7810 Duration:24 months


What does it mean to be an American? Is there a shared American culture, or is that just something Europeans imagine?

Because of the global reach of the United States, most Europeans have the impression that they "know" America, which is often perceived as a single culture, with little recognition of the complexity and variety that are characteristic of the nation.

American Studies is a two year MA program that focuses on the world's leading superpower. It looks at culture, politics, economics, literature, and society in a country of more than 300 million inhabitants in fifty distinct states.

American Studies is an interdisciplinary study that draws on several disciplines that must be included in order to ensure that students can understand and analyze American cultural identities and the changing relationship between the United States and the rest of the world.

Through its cooperation with several departments at the University of Southern Denmark, American Studies offers you the opportunity to shape your study program by choosing electives in the participating programs, including literature, history, politics, and journalism. In the third semester, you also have the opportunity to go abroad to study in a European or American university through exchange agreements with selected institutions.

The application form is available by clicking on the appropriate box in the upper right hand corner of this page.
This programme is offered in English

Career opportunities
Employment possibilities

American Studies MA graduates have found careers in both the public and private sectors, including the following:

* Foreign embassies
* Government ministries
* Television News consultant
* Translation
* Consultants in private corporations, including banks
* Information officers of public organizations and private companies
* Gymnasium teaching
* Health administration
* Research (first as PhD students, eventually as university faculty)
* Consultant in a private firm, for example in marketing
* International organizations, and NGOs
* Public relations, advertising, and branding management

Our graduates have such a variety of job possibilities because they have different BA degrees and because they are able to develop particular areas of expertise through their selection of elective courses, internships, terms abroad, and the topic of their MA thesis.

Learning outcomes
In the course of an MA work in American Studies you will develop skills and abilities that will not only make you an expert on the United States but also give you other more general skills that many companies and institutions will value.

You will

* - be able to acquire new knowledge and put it to use in pursuit of new goals
* - be able to survey a wide field of information and extract its essence
* - be able to work across more than one discipline
* - be accustomed to expressing yourself in American English both in writing and orally not merely competently but at an academic level.
* - be comfortable with reading academic texts in American English
* - be accustomed to working in groups, and be able to learn from and to give constructive criticism
* - be familiar with the research process, and know how to define a problem and carry out an analysis, base don the relevant material, which necessarily includes being able to offer colleagues useful criticism and suggestions for change.
* - know how to delve deeply into a selected problem or question
* - know how to interpret and critically analyze new information
* - know how to plan and prioritize your work independently

Programme structure
American Studies is a two-year education at the MA level that consists of the following courses:

* Theory and Method in American Studies (10 ECTS)
* Themes in American Culture (10 ECTS)
* Themes in American history and society (10 ECTS)
* Topics in American Studies, double seminar (2 x 10 ECTS)
* Elective 1 (10 ECTS)
* Elective 2 (10 ECTS)
* Elective 3 (10 ECTS)
* Elective 4 (10 ECTS)
* MA Thesis (30 ECTS)

Choose by interest
In addition to the four obligatory courses there are four electives (three "kursusfag" and one "valgfag.") that students can select in the second and third semesters. These can be chosen from among the range of courses that focus on various aspects of American society that are offered at SDU, not only at the Center for American Studies but many other departments as well. In this way, each student can give a special character to his or her study, depending upon what seems most interesting and what will be useful after graduation.

International options
You can also go abroad to a university in the United States or the EU during the third semester, and take three of the four elective courses there. Alternately, you can replace the "valgfag" elective through an internship in an institution or a company either abroad or in Denmark.
In the past American Studies students have pursued this option by working for the American Congress, the news division at the Danish national radio network, the Danish Embassy in Washington, a Danish immigration museum in Iowa, and other sites.
It is up to students themselves to find an internship and have it approved by the History Study Board before it begins.

MA thesis
You can only complete an MA in American Studies in one way, by writing a thesis, normally in English, that is between 60 and 100 pages in length.
The choice of topic is up to the student, but it is selected in conjunction with advisor who is willing to supervise the project, and with whom you remain in contact during the research and writing process.
The thesis is expected to take half a year and is the equivalent of one semester's work.

Access to the MA in American Studies will be granted those who hold a bachelor degree in English, History, Journalism, MA in Business, Language and Culture (Negot), Business Language and Media (provided the language is English), Business language and IT (provided the language is English), Business Language in two languages (provided one of the languages is English) or a bachelor in Political Science.Students with other bachelor degrees deemed of relevance by the Study Board will likewise be granted access to the MA in American Studies.The following criteria must be met: A. History and social studiesThe following areas must be covered: Anthropology, Social Studies (including Comparative Social Studies), Historical Analysis, International Politics and International Economy, Political Science and Political Structures.B. CultureThe following areas must be covered: Cultural History, Intercultural Relations, Cultural Analysis and Media.As a minimum applicants must have covered 60 ECTS within the areas described in A and B and at least 10 ECTS in each part. Having included topics from the areas A and B in the BA project also counts towards fulfillment of the ECTS requirement.If the Study Board deems it necessary, i.e. you do not completely fulfill the entry requirements, you may be asked to take supplementary courses prior to enrollment. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 575 TOEFL iBT® test: 88

International students have the following scholarships options:
Please also check the information at the two official Danish educational websites:

Please notice that we unfortunately do not offer scholarships for undergraduate students.

Options for full-degree graduate students:
Danish Government Scholarship Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher EducationThe Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education has launched a scholarship programme for students from non-EU/EEA countries studying a full degree at graduate level. Scholarships and tuition fee waivers are available for highly talented students who have been admitted to a range of programmes.

The Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education has launched a scholarship programme for students from non-EU/EEA countries studying a full degree at graduate level. Scholarships and tuition fee waivers are available for highly talented students who have been admitted to a range of programmes.

The board of the University of Southern Denmark decides from year to year which study programmes will benefit from the scholarships and the University will recommend the most qualified applicants in these programmes for a scholarship. Therefore it is not possible to apply for this scholarship. If you are a non-EU student and applying for a programme which offers this scholarship you will automatically be considered for it.

BHJ Scholarship
Only available for students applying for a master programme at our Sønderborg Campus

Six one-year scholarships are issued pr. year: three for studies within the technical field i.e. Mechatronics and Innovation & Business respectively, and three are for studies within the field of business administration i.e. Business Relationship Management.

A scholarship of DKK 40.000 may be granted if and when the requirements are met. It is paid in two instalments of DKK 20.000 per semester. The scholarship grant depends on acceptance and enrolment as a full-time student in one of the above mentioned programmes.
For more information please visit BHJ Foundation Page

20 scholarships for MSc in Engineering

Options for Exchange and Guest Students:
Danish Government Scholarship for Foreign Nationals (the Cultural Agreements) Danish Government Scholarships for Foreign Nationals
The scholarship helps cover living expenses.

Iki Wakabayashi Foundation (A scholarship which can be applied by all SDU students who are leaving for a period of exchange or internship in Japan - or similar for a Japanese student being enrolled at SDU)


The quality and relevance of the programme are accredited by the Danish Accreditation Institution

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