MA in North American Studies

Radboud University

Program Description

MA in North American Studies

Radboud University

The world loves American culture, but is deeply distrustful of American power and politics. In Radboud University we offer critical insights into both. Our Master's Program gives students the opportunity to acquire solid expertise in relation to the concept of "America" in a variety of fields: US history, literature, culture (including popular culture, film, theater and art) as well as political history, foreign policy, constitutional law and social science. Radboud University distinguishes itself from other American Studies programs through its emphasis on the cultural and political relations between the United States, its neighbors, and Europe. True to the tradition of American Studies, our program teaches students to approach issues from different angles and to think in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary ways. We also offer excellent internships thanks to our global network. This means that students who go on to study for a Master's degree have unique, near-native language abilities. In Radboud University you will find yourself in a dynamic learning environment where the level of scholarship and communication in (American) English is extremely high. This is one of the reasons why our programs are so popular. Another is the choice Radboud offers between two fascinating fields within which you can create your own custom-made program: "Literatures and Cultures of North America in International Perspective" and "Transnational America: Politics, Culture and Society." Students like the variety these programs offer. They tell us: "It's so much fun. There are so many interesting options to choose from."

Literatures and Cultures of North America in International Perspective

America's cultural icons are the world's cultural icons. From Walt Disney to the Statue of Liberty, from Hollywood to Time magazine, and from Jack Kerouac to Philip Roth, the influence of American culture around the world is huge. Our program allows students to critically explore the significance of American culture to countries around the globe. Next to studying the variety of meanings that are assigned to American cultural products abroad, students will explore the sheer variety of American cultural expressions themselves. Our program offers courses on the contemporary North American novel, on journalism and magazines, the American avant-garde and the expressions of American ethnic diversity. Throughout, you will explore the societal and socio-political context in which literary and cultural communications acquire meaning. To construct a program you have to take one compulsory course, plus a selection from a wide range of optional courses (see below) to make up a total of 40 European credits (ECs). A Master's thesis (20 ECs), in which you present an independently conducted research project, rounds off the program.

Transnational America: Politics, Culture and Society

With the so-called "transnational turn," American Studies increasingly looks beyond and across national borders. In this program you explore the politics, culture and society of the United States within its national borders, outside them, as well as at its borders. The program contains two obligatory foundation courses, each of which is worth 10 EC study points. These are "American Studies: Theory & Practice" and "America and the World." A central theme is the exchange of cultural and political ideas between North America and Europe and related issues in the field of Americanization and globalization. You can explore processes of cultural contact and exchange at the United States' geographical and non-geographical borders in the course "American Borders" or opt for a course on the international cultural and political relationship between Europe and the United States in "Transatlantic Exchange: Europeans and America." Other options include a special course on the Beat Generation, one of America's most influential avant-garde movement; North American Indians; African- American Literature and Culture; American Constitutional Law or the American Public Sphere. To construct a program you have to take one compulsory course, plus a selection from a wide range of optional courses (see below) to make up a total of 40 European credits (ECs). A Master's thesis (20 ECs), in which you present an independently conducted research project, rounds off the program.

Admission requirements

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in American Studies or related area

You are required to have a Dutch Bachelor's degree (or equivalent, from a research university) in American Studies or a Bachelor's degree in English Language & Culture with a specialisation in American Studies. If you specialised in English you can apply if you had at least 40EC in courses related to American Studies. If you have a different academic background, you will need to have achieved 60 EC in courses related to American Studies.

2. A proficiency in English

In order to take part in the program, you need to have a sufficient level of English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following

  • A TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), 100 (internet-based);
  • An IELTS score of at least 7.0;
  • A Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of B or higher.

After you have registered for the Master's program in North American Studies you'll be invited for a personal interview. Following this meeting, you'll draw up your made-to-measure program for the academic year.

There are a wide range of opportunities for graduates from this program. Your broad interdisciplinary education and excellent command of English will help you find a job in an international setting. You could work in school or university education, in research, in journalism or other media, in publishing, museums, international finance, government, business, international affairs, or as a diplomat.


Programmes starting in September
  • Non-EEA students: 1 April.
  • EEA students: 1 May.

Quality label

Both the Keuzegids Masters and the Bachelor’s programme information guide Keuzegids Universiteiten have now designated Radboud University as the ‘Best General University’ in the Netherlands.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 5, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
1 year
Full time
Request Info
EU/EEA, 01/04/2015 - non-EU/EEA (each year)
Start date Sept. 2016
Netherlands Nijmegen
Application deadline Request Info
EU/EEA, 01/04/2015 - non-EU/EEA (each year)
End date Aug. 31, 2017
Duration 1 year
Price - €2,006 for EEA/ € 9,432-non EEA students