Programme structure

American Studies is a two-year education at the MA level that consists of the following courses:

  • Theory and Method in American Studies (10 ECTS)
  • Themes in American Culture (10 ECTS)
  • Themes in American history and society (10 ECTS)
  • Topics in American Studies, double seminar (2 x 10 ECTS)
  • Elective 1 (10 ECTS)
  • Elective 2 (10 ECTS)
  • Elective 3 (10 ECTS)
  • Elective 4 (10 ECTS)
  • MA Thesis (30 ECTS)

Here you can find a short description of the individual courses. A detailed description including the form of examination can be found in the Study Handbook for American Studies ("studieordningen for kandidatuddannelsen i Amerikanske Studier), which you can find via the menu on the left.

The scheme below shows how these courses are organized, including how many hours each of them is taught per week.

Course title



1. semester

2. semester

3. semester

4. semester

Theory and Method in American Studies





Themes in American Culture





Themes in American History and Society





Topics in American Studies

Seminar I (Culture)


Seminar  II (History)






         } 4




Elective 1





Elective 2





Elective 3





Elective 4





MA thesis




Individual advising

Choose by interest

In addition to the four obligatory courses there are four electives (three "kursusfag" and one "valgfag.") that students can select in the second and third semesters. These can be chosen from among the range of courses that focus on various aspects of American society that are offered at SDU, not only at the Center for American Studies but many other departments as well. In this way, each student can give a special character to his or her study, depending upon what seems most interesting and what will be useful after graduation.

Click here for a list of elective courses that have been offered in the past. 

International options

You can also go abroad to a university in the United States or the EU during the third semester, and take three of the four elective courses there. Alternately, you can replace the "valgfag" elective through an internship in an institution or a company either abroad or in Denmark.
In the past American Studies students have pursued this option by working for the American Congress, the news division at the Danish national radio network, the Danish Embassy in Washington, a Danish immigration museum in Iowa, and other sites.
It is up to students themselves to find an internship and have it approved by the History Study Board before it begins.

MA thesis

You can only complete an MA in American Studies in one way, by writing a thesis, normally in English, that is between 60 and 100 pages in length.
The choice of topic is up to the student, but it is selected in conjunction with advisor who is willing to supervise the project, and with whom you remain in contact during the research and writing process.
The thesis is expected to take half a year and is the equivalent of one semester's work.

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