An Overview of the ASE Graduate Program

Since the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity established our Ph.D. program, we have been excited by its rapid growth, as well as the general enthusiasm and interest it has generated. We are very proud of the fact that we have attracted both an outstanding and highly diverse group of students, and we look forward to building and maintaining our tradition of excellence by attracting exceptional students in the future. We encourage you to read this section carefully and decide whether ASE is the kind of program you are looking for. If you have any questions that are not answered on our Web page, please do not hesitate to contact the director of graduate studies at (213) 740-2426.

One of the things that makes ASE unique is the fact that we are an interdisciplinary program with faculty expertise in both the humanities and social sciences. Students have a range of disciplines and traditions to draw from in crafting their own projects.

At this point, ASE's only graduate offering is the Ph.D. degree. We welcome applicants with either B.A.s or master’s degrees. While those with master’s degrees will most likely be able to transfer some units, the program is structured to take five to six years, depending upon the individual student’s background and source of funding.

To date, we have been able to fund all of our students through some combination of teaching assistantship, reasearch assistantship, and fellowship. ASE students have been very successful in university-wide and national fellowship competitions, and we anticipate this will continue. If we accept you, we will do our best to fund you.

American Studies and Ethnicity has an excellent record of placement and our students regularly receive and are competitive for national fellowships. We have a proven record of academic success and we are proud of our students past and present.  The department continues to grow in new directions and currently hosts research clusters in: Race and Sexuality; Decolonization and Indigeneity; Space and Race; Black Diaspora and Transpacific Studies. 



  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Avenue
  • Kaprielian Hall 462
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-2534