MBA Stands for Master of Business Administration and there are many concentrations to an MBA that you can acquire. MBA programs are designed to teach you how to work in the world of business, including finance, consulting, marketing, management, entrepreneurship, leadership, healthcare, criminal justice and many more. By choosing your core concentration early, your courses could provide a means to study one area in depth and then, learn to apply strategy to problem-solve in that field. If you are looking to fast track your career and earning potential, then a great way to do this is by earning your masters degree.

Graduate Degree Benefits:

  • Get a competitive edge
  • Master managerial skills
  • Learn new skills and knowledge
  • Career progression
  • More job opportunities

Career Options with a Graduate in American Studies:

  • American Studies Manager in Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $90,160
  • American Studies Manager in Junior Colleges - $81,450

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, American Studies Managers, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for American Studies Concentrations:

  • M.S. in American Studies
  • M.A. in American Studies
  • MBA in American Studies

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


In most cases, a doctoral degree requires 36 to 54 credit hours. As a full-time student, you can typically complete 18-24 credits per year, meaning you would earn your degree over the course of about two years. If you are a motivated student, there are a few options available to help you earn your degree sooner.

Some schools have accelerated American studies masters or doctorate programs that put students on the fast track to earning their degree. This can reduce the typical two-year time frame by up to 30%. If an accelerated program is too much to handle, you may be able to benefit from year-round learning. Year-round learning is continuous schooling all year long, with no summer break. This type of education allows you to finish your degree earlier and get started in your career faster. If you took AP courses in high school, you may be able to count them toward your college credits, which can in turn, reduce your time and the costs of schooling.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

As you begin exploring colleges and universities, you may already know what you want to major in. If you have an American studies graduate concentration in mind, look through the graduate catalog, either online or a copy of the book and browse the majors offered by that college. If you find this major, this will be one school you will want to consider attending; if not, then cross the school from your list and move on to the next.

If you're uncertain what American studies masters specialty degree you're interested in, try to find a school with a robust variety of courses, that will let you experience a few varied lower level classes and allow you to figure out what you enjoy while you work through your general education.

An American studies master's degree will consist of some really particular training courses to increase your subject knowledge. Generally, a master's degree in American studies looks like your upper division classes on a bachelors, but with a graduate degree or advanced degree the courses are more specific and will require additional critical thinking skills. Below is a sample of online master's degree courses so you can see the kind of curriculum that will be typically found. Universities will differ in their specific studies needed and required. Compare colleges very carefully on the courses they will require you to take to gain your master's degree in American studies. Sample courses you may need:

  • Genomics: Decoding the Universal Language of Life
  • America Through Foreign Eyes
  • Reasoning Across the Disciplines
  • The Pronunciation of American English
  • Consonants of American English Pronunciation
  • American Education Reform: History, Policy, Practice
  • Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (“ModPo”)
  • Computational Social Science

If you're concerned about the specific graduation rate at each school you're most interested in, the Office of Institutional Research should have that information. According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Admissions nationwide shows the completion rate for masters programs at 61%.

This can get very expensive. Students have to pay for additional terms of tuition. Universities and colleges may also penalize students who are taking too long to graduate. So, you need to have a plan that enables you to graduate within two to three years. See an advisor for your major every semester. Take the classes that they tell you are required. Try to take more than just the 9 minimum full-time credits per semester—instead, take 12; if you don't have to work more than 10 to 15 hours a week, try to take more credits if your college permits that. Take summer classes to get ahead (or catch up if you fail a class).

Try not to change degree concentrations. If you're not sure of your specialty major, take just your general education credits and try a few majors you're interested in—take an introductory class for each major and find the one that fits you best.

Accreditation is a very important facet of your career since, if the college you attend is accredited by a reputable association, the graduate degree you earn from that college will have more value and some employers include this information when evaluating you for employment.

The reason why accreditation is so important is that, without it, it's hard to determine what kind of standards the training programs hold and if they are up to date with technology and innovation.

A college gets accredited voluntarily by an association of their choice. The association will interview and inspect the college thoroughly to see if they meet their standards of everything from cleanliness to academics and, if the college passes the inspection, the association puts their stamp on them as an assurance that they meet all their requirements.

Employers today want only the best of the best working for them. Some businesses are even willing to pay for the education of potential candidates. So, when it comes to degrees, most employers look at the accreditor of the school you earned your degree from, since this says a lot about the kind of education you acquired. If an employer is willing to go so far as to pay for a student's education, imagine what kind of salary they will offer to those holding a degree from a highly reputable association.

Many colleges offer career services and job placement programs to help you get on the fast track to employment. Although you may assume that all American studies colleges offer this service, some don't provide as much assistance as you are led to believe. The best programs for post-graduate assistance include help with job placement both before graduation and continued support as you advance in your career. These programs can also assist you in preparing your resume so it maintains a competitive edge on the job market, work with you as you prepare for job interviews, and advise you on your job performance.