Graduate Program

Sheffer sheds new light on 60's
Dr. Jolie Sheffer with ACS MA student Josh Catalano

The BGSU American Culture Studies M.A. and Ph.D graduate programs are small, selective interdisciplinary programs featuring intellectual rigor and an inclusive sense of community. 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.
ACS offers students the opportunity to critically explore the cultural and intellectual traditions that have historically shaped and defined American identity. The program challenges students to think of culture as a dynamic and contested domain, whose definition and deployment are negotiated in the context of complex power dynamics and struggles. It invites 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 the ways in which American identity has been historically gendered and racialized in myths of nation-making, nationalism, and national identity. Additionally, we encourage students to consider these struggles over identity in their larger transnational and diasporic contexts. The American Culture Studies program is interdisciplinary and comparative in nature. It emphasizes the development of critical analytical and scholarly skills, and offers training to prepare students for academic and professional careers.

Please email, or call us at 419-372-8886, so we can begin the conversation about whether ACS at BGSU is a good match for you.
“I love working with ACS students because they bring such diverse experiences, interests, and knowledge to every conversation. The end result -- whether in a class discussion or a PhD dissertation -- is inevitably intersectional, multidisciplinary, and critically engaged. I always learn new things from our conversations, and feel challenged to make new connections in my own teaching and research.” --Dr. Jolie Sheffer


ACS Studetn Jacqueline AdamsMLK Day of Service: Jacqueline Adams, right

“The American Culture Studies (ACS) doctoral program at BGSU encouraged me to consider various career options in academic spaces. I was granted diverse opportunities to engage with students while helping to organize two historic conferences (The Latino/a/x Issues Conference and The Black Issues Conference), coordinating education and training in Student Affairs at the LGBTQ Resource Center, and while teaching undergraduate classes in the ACS department. The variety of opportunities presented to me through ACS and the School of Cultural and Critical Studies allowed me to grow as a scholar. I found support in various departments and programs on campus outside of ACS and the SCCS as well. BGSU faculty and staff have a high regard for ACS Ph.D. students, and I often found support and opportunities to lead, community organize, and excel outside my department  as well. My faculty in ACS and Ethnic Studies proved to be the most caring, impassioned, and brilliant scholars I have yet to meet in the academy. It was a privilege to learn from them!” -Jacqueline Adams, Ph.D student

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the graduate degree, students in American Culture Studies are expected to be able to:

  • Communicate clearly orally and in writing interpretation of the American experience, informed by relevant cultural theory
  • Evaluate and synthesize the scholarly conversations in Cultural and American Studies.
  • Design and produce rigorous, interdisciplinary research informed by relevant theories in the fields of cultural and American Studies.
  • Engage with profession through activities in professional societies, publication, and other scholarly and professional activities.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review

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.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)

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.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)     

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The American Culture Studies program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 03/04/2021 03:54PM