PhD In American Studies

PhD students must complete:

  • 48 credits of coursework (16 courses) in preparation for examinations in three fields
  • 24 credits of dissertation research
  • the General Examination
  • the program’s research requirement

If a student’s work to complete their exams extends beyond the 48-credit limit, he or she may take up to 12 additional credits of coursework. Dissertation research credits will be reduced accordingly.

Students entering the program with an MA or other graduate degree in American Studies or related fields may petition the department to transfer credits toward the completion of the PhD. Petitions should be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) at the end of the student’s first year of coursework. In assessing these requests, the DGS and other members of the student’s advisory committee will consider the student’s academic performance in the program, as well as his or her readiness to take the General Examination. Any transfer credits awarded must contribute directly toward the student’s preparation for a general exam field; a maximum of 18 credits may be carried into the program with departmental approval. All coursework, examinations, the dissertation, and other requirements must be completed within eight full years.

Spotlight on Craig Allen

Photo of Jim Miller, Richard Gibson, and Craig Allen
From left to right: Professor James Miller, Richard T. Gibson, and PhD student Craig Allen.

Craig Allen, a PhD student in American Studies, coordinated and presided over a day-long symposium, Richard Gibson: Literary Contrarian & Cold Warrior, celebrating the George Washington University Special Collections Research Center’s acquisition of the Richard T. Gibson papers in March 2013. The symposium brought together scholars from across the United States and consisted of moderated panels that explored the potential use of the papers in furthering our understanding of the intellectual and literary history of the Cold War – from the pages of the Kenyon Review to the literary circles of postwar Rome and Paris, culminating with such pivotal Cold War events as the French-Algerian War, the rise of Revolutionary Cuba and various African liberation movements. Scholars in attendance included Alessandro Brogi (University of Arkansas), Van Gosse (Franklin & Marshall College), Peter Kornbluh (GW National Security Archives), Andrea Malaguti (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), James Miller (George Washington University), Luis Serapiao (Howard University) and Todd Shephard (Johns Hopkins). Among the attendees were the Algerian Ambassador to the United States, Abdallah Baali, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North Africa, Raymond Maxwell.