Universiteit Leiden

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North American Studies (MA)

The master’s programme in North American Studies at Leiden University takes an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to the study of the United States, with a particular emphasis on examining key aspects of American history, culture, and literature, from a historical perspective and within an international context.

In the Keuzegids 2019, the Leiden North American Studies programme is ranked as one of the top-rated master's programmes in the Netherlands.

According to Elsevier, Leiden has the best MA programme in North American Studies in the Netherlands. Moreover, the Leiden programme has received the label ‘top programme’ in the Keuzegids Masters of March 2019. This ranking is based on the opinion of students (through the National Student Survey) and academic experts (NVAO).

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Why study North American Studies at Leiden University?

The Leiden programme offers a diverse and international learning environment. While the programme focuses on the U.S., you will also explore the role the U.S. plays in the region and in the world, as well as the impact of the region and the world on developments in the U.S. Some of the key areas and major issues in the history, politics,  literature and culture of the U.S. that the programme explores in depth and from a multidisciplinary and historical perspective include:

  • Slavery, migration, and emancipation movements;
  • The history and politics of international relations and human rights;
  • Immigration and ethnicity;
  • Identity constructions and memory politics.

An important aspect of the programme is learning how to conduct independent multidisciplinary research, comprehend and apply theoretical insights, learn about and engage with scholarly debates, and take a critical approach to all materials. Critical reflection on U.S. exceptionalism is a recurrent topic throughout the programme.

More reasons to study North American Studies in Leiden

Internship or study abroad

Students are encouraged to do an internship, either in the Netherlands (for example at the Roosevelt Institute of American Studies at Middelburg) or abroad (for example at the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in the U.S.). Opportunities are available for study at a university in the U.S. or Canada.

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Learn from acclaimed researchers

During your studies you will learn alongside talented and highly-motivated students in a diverse and international classroom setting. Classes are kept relatively small to allow for a high level of interaction with your instructors, all of whom are internationally acclaimed researchers in the field of American Studies, and to facilitate a research-led learning environment.

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North American Studies degree

North American Studies at Leiden University is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a master’s degree in North American Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).

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