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American Studies, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

The Department of American Studies at Saint Louis University provides a systematically interdisciplinary approach to studying the cultures of the United States and the critical analysis of their historical and contemporary evolutions through the graduate certificate in American studies.

We train students in the skills of clear thinking, writing and speaking, as well as the abilities associated with interpreting literary texts, evaluating historical documents and artifacts, applying humanistic and social scientific methods and theoretical approaches, and reflecting ethically on the problems and issues raised in the classroom. As an interdisciplinary field, American studies courses and curricula often connect academic study to community institutions, organizations, and populations.  

The graduate certificate offers coursework in the growing and vibrant interdisciplinary study of American history and culture for current SLU students enrolled in other master's, doctoral or professional postgraduate programs at SLU. American studies is an 80-year old field with its own organizations, journals, canon, and methodologies. But at the practical level, lines between American studies and cognate fields are often crossed, especially in the job market.  

As a stand-alone program, a graduate certificate in American studies can offer professional development or targeted post-graduate training.  

Curriculum Overview

The graduate certificate in American studies requires three courses, one required and two electives, and a one-hour written certificate exam. 

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

American studies courses offer an array of guided research methodologies and topics, including archival, literary and film, media and cultural studies, visual studies and others.


A graduate certificate in American studies can enhance a postgraduate degree in a traditional field for academic and public-facing jobs.   

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate degree or equivalent in a humanities or social science area; additional prerequisite work may be required at the department's discretion.

Application Requirements

Students currently enrolled in a graduate program at SLU can apply through a petition.

External students applying for the stand-alone certificate should submit the following materials:

  • Application form and fee
  • Transcript(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Goal statement

The deadline for admissions is rolling.

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students. International students must also meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Financial documents are required to complete an application for admission and be reviewed for admission and merit scholarships. 
  • Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the student's time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of the student's study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include:
    • Courses taken and/or lectures attended
    • Practical laboratory work
    • The maximum and minimum grades attainable
    • The grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations
    • Any honors or degrees received.

WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

American Studies Application Review Process

All applications are reviewed by a faculty committee.


Tuition Cost Per Credit
Graduate Tuition $1,310

Additional charges may apply. Other resources are listed below:

Net Price Calculator

Information on Tuition and Fees

Miscellaneous Fees

Information on Summer Tuition

Scholarships, Assistantships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for a graduate assistantship, apply by the program admission deadlines listed. Fellowships and assistantships provide a stipend and may include health insurance and a tuition scholarship for the duration of the award. 

Explore Scholarships and Financial Aid Options

  1. Graduates will be able to apply the major practices, theories or research methodologies in American studies.
  2. Graduates will be able to articulate arguments or explanations to a disciplinary audience in written forms.
ASTD 5000Perspectives in American Studies3
ASTD 5/6XXX Any two additional American Studies graduate level topics courses (3 credits each = 6 credits)6
Examples of courses:
ASTD 5010
African American Politics, Culture & Identity
ASTD 5020
Frontiers & Borderlands: Contact & Conquest in the American Imagination
ASTD 5700
Metropolitan America
ASTD 6015
Many Midwests: Race and Citizenship in the Heartland
ASTD 6250
The Cultural Studies Movement: Origins and Contemporary Practice
ASTD 6400
Transnational America
ASTD 6500
Visions of U.S. Empire
ASTD 6700
Cold War Cultural Politics and the "American Century"
Total Credits9

Non-Course Requirements

ASTD 5000 is followed by a certificate exam. 

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Certificate-Seeking Students

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
ASTD 5000 Perspectives in American Studies 3
ASTD 5/6XXXAmerican Studies topics course 3
ASTD 5/6XXXAmerican Studies topics course 3
 Total Credits9

Degree-Seeking Students

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
ASTD 5000 Perspectives in American Studies 3
ASTD 5/6XXXAmerican Studies topics course 3
ASTD 5/6XXXAmerican Studies topics course 3
 Total Credits9

For additional information regarding admissions and graduate programs in the Department of American Studies, please contact

Kate Moran
Graduate Coordinator

Terri Foster
Administrative Assistant