Trinity's master of arts in American studies fosters a broad foundation in archival, spatial, public humanities, and transnational approaches to exploring the American experience at home and abroad.

At a Glance
Our graduates work in fields including teaching, publishing, curatorial work, government, library work, law, and nonprofits.
You can complete the degree in two years as a full-time student; three to four years as a part-time students.
Total cost to you is $29,700 (excluding fees), based on 2023-24 tuition rates.
Submit your application by August 1 for fall start, December 15 for spring start, and April 15 for summer start.

About the Program

Trinity’s master of arts in American studies trains students to become engaged scholars and public humanists who can synthesize these approaches into theoretically and empirically rigorous analyses of the often contradictory and conflicting meanings of America. To that end, the program provides exposure to America’s social, political, material, and cultural histories through diverse, pluralistic, and transnational perspectives.

Our graduates pursue advanced studies in the humanities and social sciences and in professional programs and law schools. They are employed in nonprofits, publishing, teaching, academic administration, government service, curatorial work, and library and archive work. In the spirit of collaborative interdisciplinarity, our faculty and students maintain ties with departments across the College, including anthropology, English, history, human rights, international studies, film studies, political science, sociology, and women, gender, and sexuality.

Our location offers invaluable opportunities for research at archives and institutions such as the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History, The Mark Twain House & Museum, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, the Connecticut State Library, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Real Art Ways, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, and our own Watkinson Library.

For students interested specifically in museums, the American studies graduate program offers a graduate certificate in museums and communities.

Next Step: Start your application

While I truly enjoyed every course I took as a graduate student, I was amazed by the on and off campus opportunities offered to students.

Abigail Waldron M'20, American Studies

The Curriculum

Graduate courses in American studies are offered within an innovative and supportive community of professors working in new directions in scholarship, interdisciplinary teaching, and public engagement. Our 9-credit program starts from a required foundational seminar, “Approaches to American Studies,” that leads to a personalized core of four methodological courses that develop new ways of approaching the ideas and narratives of American life. Our students typically complete the degree in two to three years, culminating in either a 2-credit thesis or a 1-credit practicum.

See the Trinity College Bulletin for detailed course descriptions.

Sample Courses

Master of Arts in American Studies Requirements  
 1 foundational course 
  • Approaches to American Studies
1 course in each of the 4 approaches (Samples)


  • Popular Narratives of U.S. History
  • Black Women Writers in the 20th and 21st Centuries
  • Race & Incarceration


  • American Ruins
  • Meds, Eds, Slots and Stadiums: Culture Industries and the New Urban Economy
  • The Digital Image of the City)

Public Humanities

  • History & Memory of Slavery on Campus
  • Museums, Visual Culture & Critical Theory
  • The U.S. Civil War and Its Afterimage


  • Through a Queer Lens: Migrant Critiques of the U.S.
  • Change of Clothes: Global Networks and North
  • American Clothing
  • Rise and Fall of American Slavery
2 or 3 general electives (Samples)
  • Global Radicalism
  • Change of Clothes
  • Curating Conversations in Public Humanities
Capstone course 
  • 2-Credit Thesis, or
  • 1-Credit Practicum

American Studies Graduate Program

Graduate Studies Office 103 Vernon St.
Hartford, CT 06106
M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.