Masters in American Studies

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What's Going On @ American Studies

Program Overview

Fairfield University's Master of Arts in American Studies engages the idea of America as it has been culturally imagined and contested throughout history, both within and beyond U.S. national borders. As an interdisciplinary course of study, the program draws upon the expertise of full-time faculty members representing nine departments and programs including black studies; English; history; philosophy; politics; sociology; religious studies; women, gender, and sexuality studies; and the visual and performing arts.

The program consists of one core course that provides a general introduction to American Studies. You then choose four of six thematically based courses, followed by five elective courses that broaden the scope of the offerings, and then complete the program with an individualized graduate project developed with a faculty mentor to meet your intellectual and career goals. This built-in flexibility allows you to specialize in a particular field or pursue a broad scope of the American experience. Additionally, you’ll be able to find career inspiration in our advantageous location in the “academic corridor”—a cultural hub between New York and New Haven for libraries, museums, theaters, art galleries, and historic sites. 

Message From The Director

Dear Prospective Student, 
Peter Bayers headshot

The graduate program in American Studies at Fairfield University is an interdisciplinary course of study drawing upon the expertise of faculty members in nine departments and programs including Black Studies, English, History,
Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Religious Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The program engages students in the idea of America as it has been culturally imagined and contested throughout history, both within and beyond U.S. national borders.

Students design a curriculum to meet their specific needs in consultation with an academic advisor. The program offers courses and opportunities for independent research in six interdisciplinary thematic areas: expression and imagination; power, politics and institutions; gender and American society; race, ethnicity and immigration; values and ethics in American culture; America and the world. America is a culture of cultures, and our offerings are inclusive and respectful of the enormous diversity in the American people and their experience.

Each year we host a Celebrating American Studies conference on campus which features papers chosen by competitive proposals representing the work of current students and recent graduates of the program. The diversity and dynamism of the topics includes: "The Impact of Nostalgia on American Entertainment," "A Roman CatholicCongregationalist Church?: Catholicism, Nativism & Church Property in Ante-Bellum Connecticut," "The Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsements in Political Campaigns," and "50 Shades of Grey within Third Wave Feminism and Chick Lit." We also invite noted national figures to present keynote addresses. Recent speakers have been Carla Peterson, Professor of English and African-American Studies at the University of Maryland and Matthew Jacobson, the William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University. There are also special programs offered throughout the year including film series, concerts, and theatre performances, all designed to supplement and enhance classroom experiences.

In response to the personal and professional time constraints of our student population, classes normally take place in the late afternoon, evening, and occasionally on weekends. To facilitate a supportive mentor-learning environment, all courses are offered in a seminar format. The graduate students in our program include professionals strengthening their writing and critical thinking skills for an increasingly competitive marketplace, educators enhancing their professional development, full-time parents preparing to re-enter the marketplace, and those planning to pursue further professional studies or academic degrees.

As director of the graduate program in American Studies, I invite you to join us as we grapple with the complexities of our nation's cultural, intellectual, economic, religious, artistic, social, literary, and political traditions, past, present, and future.

Dr. Peter Bayers
Director of the M.A. in American Studies

Graduate Information Session

Join us for an upcoming Graduate Information Session where we can answer your questions one-on-one, give you an opportunity to meet our faculty and introduce you to the Fairfield University community and experience.

Mission Statement & Learning Objectives

The American Studies program at Fairfield University engages students in the idea of America as it has been culturally imagined and contested throughout history, both within and beyond U.S. national borders. As part of this engagement, the program explores the idea of America within cultural contexts such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, legal status, environment, and class. At the same time, the program challenges students to think about the processes by which these contexts have shaped America and its identities. Students also consider their own place, engagement, and responsibilities as participants in the unfolding narratives of America within a global context.

An interdisciplinary course of study, the program draws from a wide range of courses in the arts, humanities, and social sciences to help students develop the ability to read America, in all its rich and dynamic manifestations. As part of Fairfield University’s mission, the American Studies program seeks to develop students’ unique abilities and potential and to cultivate a broader commitment to social justice through their exploration of American culture.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will engage the idea of America by framing questions for research and inquiry
  2. Students will distinguish, summarize, and synthesize the idea of America through the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, legal status, environment, and class.
  3. Students will critically analyze and interpret cultural artifacts using interdisciplinary theories and methodologies, and discipline-specific knowledge.
  4. Students will construct oral arguments and generate debate as they evaluate the processes that shape and reshape America and its identities.
  5. Students will write informed, critical essays and larger research papers.
  6. Students will examine and interpret their own places, engagement, and responsibilities in the unfolding narratives of America, within a global context.
  7. Students will produce a final culminating project appropriate to the undergraduate and graduate curricula.

Course Offerings

Visit our online catalog for more information.

  • AS 400 Critical Issues in American Studies
  • AS 405 Values and Ethics: Social Justice in America
  • AS 406 Power, Politics, and Institutions in the United States
  • AS 407 America and the World
  • AS 408 Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in U.S. History
  • AS 409 The Radical Imagination
  • AS 410 Gender in American Society
  • AS 453 American Popular Entertainments and Social History
  • AS 461 The American Civil War
  • AS 471 Introduction to Native American Studies
  • AS 483 America in the 1930s
  • AS 484 Battle over Family Values
  • AS 486 Health and Healing in America: 1750-2000
  • AS 488 The Frontier in American Culture
  • AS 495 Special Topics
  • AS 499 Independent Study
  • ASAH 441 Fine Art vs. Anti-Art: 1917-1967
  • ASEN 447 Poetry in America
  • ASHI 451 Crises and Turning Points in U.S. Foreign Relations, 1776 to 2009
  • ASHI 459 Working in America: A Social History
  • ASHI 479 Islam in America
  • ASMU 401 The History of Jazz
  • ASMU 402 The History of Rock
  • ASPO 461 The American Presidency
  • ASRS 442 Jews and Judaism in America
  • ASSO 465 Urban Sociology: New York
  • ASSO 469 Women: Work and Sport
  • ASTA 420 American Drama and Society
  • ASTA 421 Ethnic American Performance & Society

Teacher Track

Fairfield University’s American Studies Program is pleased to introduce the new Teacher’s Track, which provides middle and high school teachers in the humanities with the resources to design curricula that focuses on strengthening the integrative skills of their students while providing the flexibility to customize their projects to accommodate school specific student learning outcomes.

Teachers in our program take courses with the goal to build electronic portfolios that directly links their MA studies with the classroom curricula. Final Master's projects consists of creating or redesigning the curriculum for one class.

Building the electronic portfolio can include:

  • short papers
  • artifacts
  • ongoing syllabi
  • assignments that students create
  • annotated bibliographies
  • lecture summaries for classroom topics
  • weekly reflections (for ex. Blackboard Journal or Blog)
  • research website creation (modeled on Library research websites)


For more information, contact Dr. Peter Bayers

Accelerated Master's Degree

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) has created an accelerated pathway for current, high achieving undergraduate students who are interested in transitioning directly into one of our Master's programs.


  • Full-time, matriculated American Studies students may apply to the MA in American Studies
  • GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • Completion of at least 96 credits prior to the start of fall senior year

Admission Requirements

  • Online application available at
  • $60 admission fee (waived for current students)
  • Fairfield University transcript (obtained by the Office of Graduate Admission)
  • A letter of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Copy of resume


  • Students apply during their Spring semester of junior year
  • Upon acceptance, students will remain an undergraduate, but areallowed to register for TWO graduate classes during their senior year
    • These classes will be covered through full-time tuition payment
    • These classes cannot count towards fulfillment of the undergraduate degree
  • During the final semester, typically spring, students will need to apply to the program officially to become a matriculated graduate student upon completion of their undergraduate degree.


For more information, contact Dr. Peter Bayers

Admission Requirements

The M.A. in American Studies program welcomes students of ability from all academic and professional backgrounds. Students who hold a bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) are encouraged to apply.

Formal Admission Process

Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee. Students seeking admission must submit:

  • A Completed Application for Graduate Admission Form Apply Now. While your application is in progress, you can check to see if your supporting documents, such as transcripts and recommendations, have been received. Please allow 48 hours from the time we receive the documents for them to post to the checklist. Track the status of your application.
  • A Non-refundable $60 Application Fee
  • A Professional Resume. Applicants are required to submit a current resume that includes employment and education history. (Submit Online)
  • A Personal Statement of self-evaluation of work experience and career objectives. (Submit Online)
  • Official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended. (All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service.)
  • Two Recommendation Forms and Letters, one of which must be, preferably, from a current employer or supervisor. The Recommendations are completed online. At the time of application you will need to provide your two Recommender's names and e-mail addresses.
  • Interviews. Applicants may be required to participate in an interview as part of the admission process. If required, candidates will be contacted by the program director to schedule an appointment.

International Students

Students from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report. A TOEFL composite score of 550 for the paper test, 213 for the computer-based, or 79-80 on the Internet-based test (IBT) is strongly recommended for admission. Fairfield's ETS code is 3390.

All application materials should be sent to:

Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies Admission
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-5195
Phone: (203) 254-4184
Fax: (203) 254-4073


How to Apply

For detailed admission requirements, please refer to the links below:

Admission Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Financial Aid

To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information, visit the Office of Financial Aid.

Alumni Spotlight

Our graduate students come from all walks of life. Check out some of our current student and recent graduates' stories on why they studied American Studies.

Nicholas DeAntonis, MA '10

Higher Education
Get To Know Nicholas →

Current Position: Social Studies teacher at the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering, in Stamford, CT; Adjunct Professor, City University of New York, Bronx Community College

Education: MA in American Studies (Fairfield University); MA in Middle East Studies, City University of New York; PhD in History, Fordham University

Why did you choose to attend a graduate program at Fairfield University?

I had confidence that Fairfield University’s American Studies program would be a content rich, academically rigorous environment that could strengthen my knowledge of American history. While my undergraduate degree in philosophy exposed me to many important historical questions and my master’s degree in education armed me with a variety of pedagogically approaches, I still sought a deeper understanding of American history. The American Studies program proved to be a perfect fit.

When I entered the program I also entertained the thought of pursuing a doctoral degree and my time at Fairfield helped me assess that future goal. My mind had not been made up before entering Fairfield, but by the time I graduated, I dedicated myself to gaining entrance into a doctoral program.

The flexibility and convenience of the program proved to be a key selling point as well. I found that the close proximity and early evening classes work well with my busy schedule. While the American Studies program and professors recognized that most students were also working professionals, they did not water down the experience or expectations.

What were the best academic aspects of the program?

It was in my second course, Islam and America, that my personal experience in the Middle East was married with academic scholarship, proving the academic rigor of the American Studies program. A combination of Edward Said’s Orientalism and Mahmood Mamdani’s Good Muslim, Bad Muslim, challenged me intellectually and helped crystallize what I wished to study in a doctoral program. Said’s Orientalism forced me to consider by what means I had constructed my view of the Muslim world and had this lens through which I viewed the Muslim world, been based on flawed stereotypes and generalizations? Mamdani’s work elucidated the potential that the roots of 20th century terrorism did not dwell in the inherent violence of Islam, but rather in a superpower’s (United States) quest to achieve more influence throughout the world. These two thinkers transformed how I viewed the Muslim world and America’s role in it. Moreover, it provided the impetus for my master’s thesis in which I analyzed the “Influence 20th century American Foreign Policy had on the Rationale of Osama bin Laden.” It was this level of rigor that attracted me to the program, and I was happy to find it.

Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of:

I used elements of my master thesis, “The Influence of 20th Century American Foreign Policy on the Rationale of Osama bin Laden," when the 9/11 Tribute Center asked me to contribute to their online resource, Teaching 9/11 Toolkit for Educators. Based on the research I completed at Fairfield, I submitted two lesson plans America and the Modern Middle East and Negative Stereotypes in the Media that have become a part of this online resource for teachers.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library also awarded me the Abba P. Schwartz Research Fellowship for a project I have been working on at the CUNY, Graduate Center titled “Kennedy, Modernization, and Saudi Arabia: A New Chapter in US-Saudi Relations.”

What attributes regarding the faculty did you find particularly helpful/encouraging?

I was impressed with the level of availability and dedication of the faculty. Throughout my studies at Fairfield, Dr. David McFadden stands out. After having Dr. McFadden for two courses, Tumultuous 20th Century and American Historiography, I conveyed to him my interest in applying to doctoral programs and he sat down with me and outlined the process. What’s more, Dr. McFadden graciously allowed me to work with him the summer preceding my final year at Fairfield as a research assistant. Throughout that summer I learned the scope and breadth of conducting research, which proved instrumental in completing my master’s thesis and gave me the confidence that I would enjoy the rigors of a doctoral program. Even after I graduated, Dr. McFadden and I have stayed in contact.


Katelyn Botsford Tucker, MA ’14

Secondary Education
(Teacher Track)

Get To Know Katelyn →

Current Position: History and social studies at Shelton High School (plus the head coach of the girls’ cross country team and assistant coach of the girls’ indoor and outdoor track teams)

Why did you choose to attend a graduate program at Fairfield University?

After graduating from Sacred Heart University with a BA in History, I knew that I wanted to continue my education in the field of American Studies. I searched for various programs in Connecticut and near my home at the time in New Jersey, but when I was offered a teaching position at Shelton High School, I decided that any program I entered had to be local as well as convenient to a part-time student. Fairfield has an excellent selection of courses at times convenient to someone who already had a full-time job, and its location made it easy to jump right into my coursework knowing that I wouldn’t be taking a train or driving too far to get where I needed to be.

What were your personal and professional objectives when you decided to pursue this advanced degree?

Although I knew I wanted to delve into the field of American Studies, when I first began this degree I was really unsure of myself and didn’t know exactly where I wanted to be. Did I want to continue teaching high school? Should I be pursuing a PhD? What exactly will I get out of a second masters degree? These were some of the questions I asked myself during my first course, "Introduction to American Studies." My course work has added value to my profession, and I feel that I am a better teacher because of the material I have read, the discussions I have had, and the questions the professors have posed. Furthermore, I had considered publishing something of a pipe-dream, but the professors I’ve had have helped to make that dream a reality. I’m happy to say that I gained experience working as an Editorial Assistant for Dr. Cecelia Bucki on Connecticut History, a journal dedicated solely to the study of Connecticut, in which I have been published twice. I was also given the opportunity to present two academic papers, one at the Celebrating American Studies Conference in 2013 and the other at the Connecticut Cities Conference in 2014.

What are/were the best academic aspects of the program?

I would have to say that Dr. Cecelia Bucki’s Historiography course gave me valuable insights into the field of American Studies and presented many of the themes I continue to return to in my research. And had I not taken her class, I would never have known about the opportunity to work at Connecticut History, which proved to be an invaluable experience. Dr. Sharlene McEvoy’s courses in Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and the Supreme Court allowed me to research American political thought and take an in depth look at some of the most important court cases in history. The discussions were always lively, and I still look back at my notes to remind myself of interesting ways to present similar material to my high school students. I absolutely loved Dr. Phillip Elliasoph’s Fine Art vs. Anti-Art course. It was brilliantly conducted over the course of one week where we did nothing but think, live, and breathe art. I am so excited about my research and I truly feel that I am making a valuable contribution to the field of Northern Civil Rights. Overall, these courses have given me a deeper understanding of American Studies.

Ben Gott, MA '13

Secondary Education
(Teacher Track)

Get To Know Ben →

Current Position: Sixth-grade English teacher and middle schoo' dean at Greens Farms Academy, an independent K-12 school in Westport, Conn.

Why did you choose to attend a graduate program at Fairfield University?

I chose Fairfield University because its program met my needs. I needed a program that would fit my schedule, offering courses in the evenings and during the summer months.  I needed a program that was close by. Our school day ends at 4p.m,, and I did not relish a long commute in rush-hour traffic. I needed a program that would challenge me intellectually while at the same time providing small class sizes, close-knit relationships with professors, and interactions with a diverse array of students from many different backgrounds. Most importantly, however, I needed a graduate program that would allow me to implement what I was learning as a graduate student into my own curriculum at GFA. I was not interested in spending my time learning pedagogy and discussing abstract concepts; I had done enough of that as an undergraduate. Rather, I wanted the chance to explore concepts that would enhance both my own educational experience and that of my students. I would recommend Fairfield University’s American Studies degree to any teacher who is looking for a flexible, supportive program that will take your teaching to a different level. 

What were the best academic aspects of the program?

I have taken an incredible array of classes including "American Historiography;" "Women in Work, Women in Sport;" "The Frontier in American Culture;" "Crises and Turning Points in Foreign Relations;" "Politics in Film;" and "Arts and Entertainment in America: 1950 to the Present."  I have written papers about the celebration of Columbus Day, the impact of the synthesizer on rock and roll, biases in American history textbooks, and gendered assumptions about cheerleading. I presented a paper I wrote on the cultural impact of the Beach Boys at Fairfield’s first annual American Studies conference in the spring of 2013, and a paper that I wrote for Dr. Peter Bayers on the all-black “singing Westerns” of Herb Jeffries was chosen for inclusion at the Western Literature Association’s 2013 conference, held in Berkeley, California. My experience at Fairfield University has enriched my life as a teacher and as an American citizen, allowing me to look more deeply at the ways in which our nation has come to be defined by its arts, culture, politics, and people.

What attributes regarding the faculty did you find particularly helpful/encouraging?

I have had an incredible experience with the Fairfield faculty. All of my professors have been supportive and encouraging, but Dr. Peter Bayers, Dr. Marti LoMonaco (my thesis advisor), and Dr. David McFadden have been especially influential. They have pushed me to think more critically, to write more clearly, and to approach a variety of topics from a broad, multi-dimensional perspective.

What were some of the challenges in going back to school as an adult student?

The University made an incredible effort to accommodate those of us with full-time jobs, families, and other outside commitments. Every professor I had, from my first class to my last, was understanding when I had to miss a class for an Open House or for parent/teacher conferences. As a teacher, I was also pleasantly surprised at the willingness of the faculty to allow teachers the flexibility to complete final projects that could be transferred directly into their classrooms. At the end of a class on American historiography, for example, Dr. McFadden allowed me to write a 15-page “unit plan” about a book I was due to teach on the Civil Rights movement that spring. I found this exercise invaluable, and the ability to approach this assignment in such a way benefited both me and my students.

Describe the ways that the university’s Jesuit mission and identity had a positive influence in your academic and personal experience while at Fairfield?

I was honored this fall to be induced into Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society who describes its mission as encouraging “a lifetime pursuit of intellectual development…[and] deepening Ignatian spirituality, service to others, and a commitment to the core principles of Jesuit education.” The Jesuit mission of the university has a far-reaching impact on the way in which its students and faculty interact with both local and global communities; this commitment to the well-being of others is clearly reflected in the ways in which the University encourages students to think of the needs of others.


Andrew M. Davenport, MA ‘17

Higher Education
Get To Know Andrew →

Current Position: PhD student at Georgetown University

What were your reasons for choosing Fairfield University for your advanced degree?

I wanted an affordable graduate program that would introduce me to world-class scholars. I found that at Fairfield. I took one class in during the fall 2015 semester, fell in love with the material and the instructor's approach, and decided to take as many courses per semester as I could manage.

What have you liked about your Fairfield education?

The American Studies faculty is stellar. They helped me foster my independent research skills, gave truly incredible feedback, and supported me throughout my time in the program. I felt the professors really cared about me and my classmates. Now that I'm out of the MA program, I clearly see how Fairfield's coursework, class structure, and overall rigor, helped me develop into the kind of student I always thought I could be. I'd performed well as an undergraduate, but it wasn't until I began Fairfield's MA program that I really thrived. I'll always be so grateful for my Fairfield education.

Please explain what you would tell someone considering an advanced degree at Fairfield.

I'd say, "Go for it!" I tell prospective students all the time that a Fairfield education really pays off. The MA program was affordable, convenient, flexible and, above all, personally and professionally rewarding.

Please describe any interesting project or research opportunity you have had while at Fairfield.

My professors at Fairfield recommended me to the Robert H. Smith Fellowship at the International Center for Jefferson Studies in the summer of 2017. I was awarded the fellowship, which enabled me to research my topic of interest for an entire month in Charlottesville, Virginia. That research eventually turned into my MA thesis, which was published (in an condensed version) by Smithsonian.

Please describe how working toward your advanced degree at Fairfield has affected your life.

My advanced degree at Fairfield absolutely changed my life for the better. After my first semester, one of my professors asked if I'd considered a doctoral program before. I had, but that was many moons ago, and as mentioned, I'd not been an exceptional undergraduate student. My professor planted a seed that stayed with me during the two and a half years of the program. I was asked to become an adjunct professor in the Art History and Visual Culture faculty when I finished my MA degree, and a few months later I had the great fortune to be admitted to a doctoral program in US History at Georgetown University. I know none of this would have happened without Fairfield.

Career & Professional Opportunities

Fairfield's M.A. in American Studies is open to all qualified persons who wish to add an interesting dimension to their previous education. It will be of special interest to many middle school and secondary school teachers who, because of rising interest in the subject within their school systems, would like to be masters qualified in American Studies. It will also be of value to those students seeking a solid preparation before pursuing a Ph.D. in either the humanities or social sciences.

Traditionally, American Studies has had great appeal for adult learners going back to school for no other reason but their eagerness to understand the times and the culture in which they live. Furthermore, international students will gain from this program a solid grounding in all aspects of the American culture.

The graduate students in our program include:

  • Professionals seeking intellectual and cultural enrichment
  • Educators enhancing their professional development
  • Full-time parents preparing to re-enter the marketplace
  • Others planning to pursue further professional studies or academic degrees

Learn more about how the University's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

American Studies Conference

7th Annual American Studies Conference: Protest in American Culture

March 30, 2019
12 - 6 p.m.
Aloysius P. Kelley Center Presentation Room

Keynote Speakers: Madonna Thunderhawk and Marcella Gilbert
Stars of the critically-acclaimed documentary film "Warrior Women"

Attesting to the robustness of the graduate and undergraduate programs at Fairfield University, this annual conference explores the theme of protest in America politically, culturally, and socially in past and present U.S. history. 



Past Conferences

6th Annual Conference: ‌Memory and Nation in American Studies

March 24, 2018
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Ladino, PhD - University of Idaho
"Memorials Matter: Monumental Affects and Emotional Environments in American Culture"


5th Annual Conference: ‌ The Divided States of America

March 25, 2017
Keynote Speaker: David Roediger, PhD - Kansas University
"What is the White in White Working Class"


4th Annual Conference: Family, Sex and Gender in  American Culture

March 19, 2016
Round table discussion: "The Politics of Family, Sex, and Gender and What It Means — or Doesn't — For the Elections of 2016"

Roundtable Participants:

  • Mr. Jonathan Rauch, guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and contributing editor of National Journal and The Atlantic
  • Rev. Matt Malone, S.J., editor-in-chief of America: The National Catholic Review
  • Dr. Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies and professor in the Government Department and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Cornell University


3rd Annual Conference:  Race, Protest, and American Culture

March 28, 2015
Keynote speaker: Nicholas Meriwether, Founding Grateful Dead archivist, McHenry Library, University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC)
"Archiving the Counterculture and Raising the Dead: The Grateful Dead Archive and the Legacy of the Sixties"


2nd Annual 'Celebrating American Studies' Conference

Saturday, March 8, 2014
Keynote Speaker: Carla L. Peterson, University of Maryland, College Park
"Black Cosmopolitanism and the Reshaping of African American Local and National Identities (1830-1910) 


1st Annual 'Celebrating American' Studies Conference:

Sunday, April 21, 2013
From the Black Panthers and Nixon to Obama and the Tea Party: Interpretingthe "Post" of "Post-Civil Rights"
Keynote Speaker: Matthew Jacobson, President of the American Studies Association and the William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University


The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and passionate scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Our faculty members are experts in their field and work closely with graduate students to provide academic advice and individualized attention that makes their experience as productive as it is rewarding.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are applications due?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee.


Do I need to take the GREs?

The GREs are not required. We do look closely at your academic record and other application materials. Generally, we like to see that you have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. If your GPA is lower than 3.0 but you would like us to consider your application, you may include with your application a statement that explains your GPA and why you are confident you will be able to maintain the required 3.0 GPA in your graduate studies.


How much does it cost?

Tuition and fees for Fairfield's graduate programs


Do I have to be a full-time student?

Our programs are designed to accommodate students who want to attend part-time because most of our students are working at least part time.  Some of our students attend full time, however.


When are courses offered?

 Most of our courses are offered in the evening but a few are offered on the weekends, or in one-week, four-week or seven-week formats. Weekday courses generally meet once a week for two hours. We try to offer flexible formats to meet the needs of our students.


What is the average class size?

We keep our classes small because they are taught in a seminar format. The maximum class size is 15.


Do I need to have earned an undergraduate degree in American studies to be eligible for admission?

 Our students come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds, and we welcome students of ability from all academic and professional backgrounds. Students who hold a bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) are encouraged to apply.

For students who attend part-time, the time will vary based on how many courses are taken at a time. Students who attend full-time take 9 credits each semester and can complete the program in a year and a half.

All students are required to complete their degree within five years after they begin their first course.


What financial aid is available?

 To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information on financial aid, visit the Office of Financial Aid.


Are graduate assistantships available?

A limited number of part- and full-time University assistantships are available to assist promising and deserving students.


Whom do I call if I have questions?

 For information about admission, contact For information about the program, contact Dr. Peter Bayers, Program Director.


Contact Us

For more information about Fairfield University's graduate programs, please contact:

Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies Admission
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

(203) 254-4184 or toll-free (888) 488-6840

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