Pursue an interdisciplinary course of study allowing intensive examination of the culture, society, political system, and other aspects of the United States. Students may engage in comparative study of history, literature, visual media, or other materials produced by and helping to constitute American culture.
The post-graduate American Studies Certificate may be especially beneficial to educators, students who are thinking of going on to a PhD program, attorneys, or anyone who wants to combine interdisciplinary methods with specific subjects. The coursework will:
- Expose students to Northwestern University’s distinguished and world class instructors.
- Provide students with countless opportunities to engage with others who are passionate to learn more about vitally important social and cultural issues through history, religion, philosophy, art, literature and film.
- Prepare students for the intellectual demands of professional life by enriching students’ understanding of a broad array of social and cultural issues while improving their ability to analyze, write and complete research.
- Sharpen analytical and writing abilities, which can help prepare students for application to PhD programs.
Applicants must possess a graduate degree in order to be considered for this program.
To complete this certificate, students may take any four courses available in the topic area (which may include courses available through The Graduate School). To satisfy the four units of credit required for the certificate, students also have the option to register for the following:
- An independent study, which is a customized course of study undertaken by a single student under the guidance of an instructor. Denoted by the course number, 499, independent studies are comparable in their demands to other graduate-level courses.
- A capstone project, which is an essay of 45 to 75 double-spaced pages written under the supervision of an approved faculty member. The project presents an opportunity to research and explore a topic thoroughly. Students often elect to expand a seminar paper from a previous course. Students who wish to pursue a capstone project must do so as their fourth and final course in the certificate program.
Students who did not previously study the humanities at the graduate level are strongly encouraged to take IPLS 410: Introduction to Cultural Analysis. This course introduces students to interdisciplinary cultural analysis through an intellectual history of critical theorists and thinkers. Through close reading, seminar discussion and presentations, students develop their critical analysis skills.
Please note that courses completed in the certificate program cannot be transferred to the corresponding graduate degree.