To obtain the doctoral degree, a student must demonstrate reading competence in a foreign language, pass the American studies oral qualifying examination, prepare and defend a dissertation prospectus, and write and defend a dissertation that is an original contribution to knowledge about American culture and that involves interdisciplinary research.
A student prepares for the qualifying examination by taking courses in American studies and other disciplines of interest; these courses must have the approval of the graduate adviser. Through such coursework and independent reading under the direction of faculty members, the student masters four fields of specialization; these fields, one of which must be American studies, are those on which the student is questioned in the oral qualifying examination.
While preparing for the oral examination, a student with a master’s degree in American studies from UT Austin must take courses that include at least twelve semester hours of American studies beyond the work done for the master’s degree. Six of these hours must be in the research course (American Studies 390); the other six must be in an area approved by the graduate adviser. The graduate adviser may require additional courses beyond the twelve-hour minimum, depending on the student’s preparation.
A doctoral student without a master’s degree in American studies from UT Austin must complete six hours in the research course (American Studies 390); American Studies 385, 386, and 393; and six hours of additional coursework. The graduate adviser may require additional courses, depending on the student’s preparation.