The strengths of Leiden University’s Master’s programme in North American Studies lie particularly in African-American history and literature, U.S. political history and foreign policy, immigrant and ethnic studies in the U.S., and (public) memory and memorialization (for example of 9/11). Although some attention is paid to Canada and Mexico in a number of courses, the main focus in this program is on the United States.
Reasons to choose North American Studies at Leiden University
• Explore major issues in the history, literature and culture of US, as well as undertaking in-depth studies of specific historical and literary topics.
• Study at a leading international centre of research in American Studies,
• Apply the integrated approach to North American Studies and discover connections between historical events and cultural and literary developments.
Master’s students who graduate in American Studies will be able to:
• critically analyse American historical and literary texts, and place them in a cultural and historical context;
• conduct independent multidisciplinary research in the field of American Studies (including Canada), thereby showing the ability to comprehend and apply relevant theoretical insights and methodological approaches;
• apply knowledge of North American history, literature and culture, to contemporary social, political, literary and cultural developments.
Leiden American Studies graduates go on to a variety of careers in teaching, journalism, politics, government, publishing and research.
Recent graduates in American Studies are:
• involved in education: teaching at high schools or in higher education,
• pursuing a Ph.D. at Dutch universities, or are graduate students at American universities,
• employed in radio and television, for example in production teams for news programmes,
• employed as government policy-makers, or have business careers,
• employed in translation and publishing.
In general, American Studies graduates find jobs in fields that require general academic training and skills, and for which an extensive knowledge of U.S. history, politics, or culture is useful or recommended.
If you are interested in a career in teaching, you can apply for the Dutch taught teacher-training MA at the ICLON Graduate School of Education after graduating from the master’s programme. To be admitted to the teacher training in History after this master’s, you also need to have a bachelor’s degree in History or a closely related programme. For the teacher training in English, the entry requirements include a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture or a closely related programme. You have to speak fluent Dutch to follow the course, and there are some additional entry requirements.
Some figures about graduates of American Studies
How successful are they in finding a job?
65 % found a job within two months.
79 % found their first job at professional or university level.
78 % held a position at professional or university level when the study was carried out.
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