The American Culture Studies program is part of the School of Cultural & Critical Studies in the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences.

American Culture Studies MA students explore big questions through the minutia of a diverse American Culture.
  • Masters Available
  • Masters Available

Masters of Arts in

American Culture Studies

The BGSU Master of Arts in American Culture Studies (ACS) asks eternal questions in new ways and poses new questions using refined methods from a variety of disciplines.  

Explore the meaning of America and the role of the United States in the world. Examine how that meaning has changed over time and how we understand it from different perspectives, depending on gender, race, class and ethnicity. 

Learn how to evaluate American culture through novels, television, activism, paintings, video games, festivals, movies, fanzines, music, film, social media, graphic novels, webisodes, material culture and emerging forms of expression that are only now being explored.

Our students and faculty analyze these topics in our courses, internships, research and capstone experiences using a toolset from many different disciplines.

A systematic analysis of the complexity and diversity of our national culture

The master’s in American culture studies is an interdisciplinary, unifying study of the many discrete aspects of our historical, social, intellectual and artistic heritage, culminating in a scholarly understanding of culture.

The American culture studies (ACS) program at BGSU is a small, welcoming and rigorous interdisciplinary program. Students have considerable freedom to design their own curriculum to reflect their interests, choosing from courses offered by ACS-affiliated faculty across BGSU. 

We are a nationally ranked program that is among the top in the field in terms of supporting our students with meaningful assistantships, professional development funds, strong mentoring, efficient time to degree and job placement in academia and beyond. We are a caring program that values all our students, faculty and staff.

Stand Out in courses like

  • Critical Approaches in Film Studies
  • American Environmental History
  • Gender, Race and Culture in Community
  • Contexts of Popular Music
  • Museology
  • American Collective Memory 
  • Media and Cultural Studies  
  • Critical Digital Humanities
  • Social Media and Social Justice  
  • 20th Cent North American Migration  
  • Building the American City: How Race Shapes Place

BGSU American culture studies is a strong example of a successful interdisciplinary program.


Graduate students typically arrive with an area of study in mind. Candidates work with advisors to define how they will explore their American cultural research interest through the lenses of political science, history, literature and language, art history, sociology philosophy, ethnic studies and gender and sexuality studies. These interdisciplinary choices lead to an individualized educational experience and preparation for professional goals.

The post-graduate program is structured to invite students to consider the role of mass media and mediated images of subjectivity in the formation of cultural identity. It also invites students to explore how American identity has been historically gendered and racialized in myths of nation-making, nationalism and national identity. 

A foundation of courses in American culture studies are complemented with study in related fields according to the student’s interests, needs and background. 

A total of 33 credit hours of coursework at the graduate level are required.

• ACS 6300. Methods and Theories of American Culture Studies (taken first semester)

• The remaining hours are selected from appropriate courses in American Culture Studies, Art History, Communication Studies, English, Ethnic Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Popular Culture, Sociology, Media Production and Studies, Theatre, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and other related fields. No more than fifteen hours should be taken in a single department or program other than American Culture Studies.

Two plans are available, with advised entry considered early in the program.

Go Far in your career

  • Journalism
  • Public Relations
  • Museums
  • Education Administration
  • Advertising
  • Government
  • Research
  • Criticism
  • Higher Education
  • Academic Advising

Plan I: Thesis Option

The thesis option requires the candidate to write an interdisciplinary thesis in keeping with the program’s philosophy. 

Plan II: Comprehensive Exam Option

The student electing to follow Plan II will sit for a four-hour written examination, covering periods in American cultural history, the student's course work, the relationship of American culture studies to the traditional disciplines, American culture studies methodology and important themes in American culture. The examination will be based on each student's individual course of study.

A selective interdisciplinary program featuring intellectual rigor and an inclusive sense of community.

BGSU Arts and Sciences white

The American Culture Studies program is part of the School of Cultural & Critical Studies in the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences.

Culture Club Student Organization

Culture Club: Cultural Studies Scholars' Association is an interdisciplinary organization founded to promote the critical study of culture, society, media and history. Culture Club gathers, supports and showcases the study of culture by BGSU graduate students. Most--but never all--Culture Club members are working towards a BGSU School of Cultural and Critical Studies graduate degree or certificate in American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Popular Culture Studies, or Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. 

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The American Culture Studies program is currently undergoing Program/Cluster Review.

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The American culture studies program does not lead to professional licensure.

* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact

Updated: 02/26/2024 09:10AM