The M.A. program in American Studies at Columbia is the only graduate degree in American Studies housed in an Ethnic Studies center. This unique vantage affords a view of American life from outside, and recognizes the fundamental importance of race and ethnicity as organizing categories in American culture and society. 


Students design their own curriculum from across Columbia's course listings with the help of the program director. At the end of their matriculation, students write a thesis under the advisement of faculty specialists in their area of interest.


The M.A. provides an introduction to graduate work in American Studies and its related fields. Recent graduates have been accepted to PhD programs in American Studies, History, English, Political Science, and Media Studies, at Columbia, Yale, Brown, USC, Fordham, U. of Virginia, U. of Maryland, U. of Colorado, and more. The M.A. program has also sent students to further graduate work at law schools, journalism schools, and creative writing programs.


The program often contributes to the professional development of secondary educators, public historians, or culture workers from a variety of backgrounds. Alumni have gone on to find work in a publishing, digital media, public policy, and museums. 

The program also offers opportunities to think about New York City as frame for American Studies. We regularly hold events in partnership with local cultural institutions to augment student research. For more information about the program, please explore the tabs to the right, and feel free to contact the program director, Dr. Matt Sandler.



CSER continues to be Columbia's main interdisciplinary space for the study of ethnicity and race and their implications for thinking about culture, power, hierarchy, social identities, and political communities. The Center also offers a wide range of public programming, including Artist at the Center, Indigenous Forum, and Latino Public Speaker Series and the Transnational Asian/American Speaker Series. CSER's most recent spaces include the Media and Idea Lab and Gallery at the Center, a space dedicated to curating artistic and thematic exhibits around the Center’s key areas of interest.

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Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race

420 Hamilton Hall, MC 2880

1130 Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY 10027

Tel 212-854-0507

Fax 212-854-0500