Careers and Opportunities
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.
PhD Program Data
The Graduate College maintains admissions, enrollment, completion, and employment data for PhD programs throughout the University. For more information, visit the Graduate College's PhD Program Data page.
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:
A number of our students have gone on to Fulbright appointments after finishing their degrees, including in Korea, France, Sweden, and Germany.