American studies students’ career goals are as varied as the topics they study. Even though the M.A. and Ph.D. programs do not assume specific vocational goals, graduates receive career advising throughout their program of study. Students have most often, but not always, graduated into careers in University or college teaching, Museum and public history positions, archive administration, public media, and more recently, digital humanities work. Students frequently find that they move into career positions that allow them to combine scholarship and teaching with ongoing environmental, social and/or racial justice concerns. The Department maintains a program of student-centered IDP advising, which encourages graduate students to develop their own plans and goals, to pursue unexpected paths as they arise and to tailor coursework, public engagement, pedagogical and other training to their goals. In the third semester of the Ph.D. program, graduate students are asked to meet in a workshop with three faculty members to review and clarify their plan of study in light of personal and professional goals.

Career Resources for UI Graduate Students

American Studies graduate students draw upon a wide array of training and professional development resources. The University of Iowa Graduate College offers robust professional development services, including career guidance, as well as national grant-writing and fellowship-seeking support. For more information on graduate student professional development services at the Graduate College, visit the Professional Development page. The Department also actively supports students who seek training in college pedagogy, in relationship to their own TA work as graduate student teaching assistants or future career paths. Among other resources, pedagogy certificates, fellowships and training opportunities are available at the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), at the Center for Teaching and Learning, and through pedagogy observation and advising at the Department level. In addition, Graduate Students have supported individual career goals by pursuing Certificates in Gender Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS), African-American Studies program, Native American and Indigenous Studies and the Public Digital Humanities. These Certificate programs are easily searchable through the University website. Prospective graduate students who wish to learn more about how the M.A. or Ph.D. programs might serve their goals are welcome to arrange a conversation with the Department’s Director of Graduate of Graduates Studies by contacting the American Studies office.

Where do our graduates end up?

The following list is a sampling of where our graduate students have ended up in recent years:

  • Alabama State University
  • Auburn University
  • Augustana College
  • Bard High School Early College
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • Brucemore Mansion
  • Cal State-Fullerton
  • Capella University
  • Cedar Falls Historical Society
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Coe College
  • College du Leman
  • DePaul University
  • Dillard University
  • The Drawing Legion Arts Center
  • Duke University
  • Eastern Oregon University
  • Frostburg State University
  • Franklin & Marshall College
  • Grinnell College
  • Hamilton College
  • Hampton University
  • Harvard University
  • Historic New England
  • Indiana University
  • Iowa State Historical Society
  • Iowa State University
  • Kansas State Historical Museum
  • Kirkwood College
  • Laurel School
  • Macalester College
  • McKendree University
  • Messiah College
  • Miami University
  • Middlebury College
  • Minnesota State University
  • National Archives
  • Northland College
  • Ohio State University
  • Old Sturbridge Village
  • Oslo & Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
  • Portland State University
  • Princeton University
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Rice University
  • Rockefeller Archive Center
  • Salisbury State University
  • Skidmore College
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Stanford University
  • Temple University
  • Texas Tech University
  • The Academy at Charlemont
  • Towson University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Dubuque
  • University of Florida
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Houston
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Presov
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Utah
  • University of Wisconsin at Green Bay
  • University of Wisconsin at La Crosse
  • University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Wyoming
  • Valparaiso University
  • Wabah College
  • Wake Forest
  • Western Kentucky University

A number of our students have gone on to Fulbright appointments after finishing their degrees, including in Korea, France, Sweden, and Germany.