M.A. American Studies

Utrecht University

Application deadline: Start in 1 September: April (non-EEA: December).
Tuition fee:
  • € 1,906 / Year (EEA)
  • € 15,150 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 60 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time
More information: Go to university website

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"What then is the American, this new man?"

The perennial question that the French observer J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur formulated in 1782 has long been an intriguing starting point for the exploration of American culture and society.
Although the search for American identity stood at the cradle of the discipline, American Studies no longer seeks to define exceptional qualities of the American Creed or essential traits of the American Mind. Rather, it now foregrounds the cultural interactions and negotiations within a multicultural and extremely diverse society.

Comparative and International Cross-cultural Approach

Moreover, American Studies does not study the United States in isolation, but employs a comparative international and cross-cultural approach that emphasizes the many "borderlands" that enclose and define American culture. In doing so it focuses on the ongoing debate about the nature of American civilization and its relation with the world.
Given that the Master's program in American Studies at Utrecht University focuses on the United States from a European perspective, it, too, emphasizes the international dissemination and reception of American culture. American Studies does this using a broad cultural concept, embracing cultural and political history, literature and the arts, and including both popular culture and intellectual history.
The Utrecht program focuses on international debates about the global position of American culture that employ concepts such as cultural hierarchy, cultural imperialism, cultural national identity, anti-Americanism and globalization.

Dynamic and Relevant Discipline

This focus makes American Studies a highly dynamic and relevant discipline that hopes to attract students who seek to understand the cultural, ethnic and national encounters that have shaped the most powerful and controversial culture in the world.


In the Master's program in American Studies, you learn to identify and analyze abstract concepts such as multiculturalism, ethnicity and national identity within the concrete context of American society. You also learn to compare the American political system with other political and societal systems.

Academic Skills

In studying such a large and diverse society, you develop a keen eye for important academic debates and for the political and social issues of the day. You are also able to report on and analyze them rapidly and efficiently owing to your ability to absorb and process large amounts of information from diverse sources, such as news media, scholarly works, literature, visual media, government information, and statistics.


Most of the courses in the Master's program in American Studies take the form of seminars. Through class interaction you acquire the necessary academic skills and learn to place empirical data in a theoretical and methodological framework. Seminars and tutorials guarantee close faculty-student interaction and provide intensive training in the skills of oral presentation and academic writing.


You are expected to apply the skills and knowledge you have acquired in the program to a final thesis or project required for the Master's degree in American Studies.


Additional language requirements:

  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: B1
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: C1
  • IELTS overall band: 6.5
  • IELTS writing: 6
  • TOEFL paper based: 580
  • TOEFL computer based: 237
  • TOEFL internet based: 93

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

75 (Grade B)
TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
TOEFL iBT® test: 93


Scholarships / Grants:

Fulbright/ NAF:
The Fulbright Center is a bi-national, non-profit organization established by international agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of The Netherlands. It promotes educational co-operation and provides information on study, research and internships in the United States.
For additional information: Website

The Erasmus programme is a component of the European programme 'LifeLong Learning' from the European Commission for mobility of higher education in Europe. An Erasmus scholarship covers a period of 3-12 months. Only students or graduates from educational institutions can take part in the programme.
For additional information: Website

For additional information: Website



Accredited by: NVAO in: The Netherlands

Accredited by: NVAO in: The Netherlands

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