The Cultural Ecologies Track of the American Studies PhD


The PhD in American Studies at IUPUI builds upon the traditional PhD framework by adding an innovative infrastructure for a collaborative and applied graduate school experience that closes the distance between academia and the world surrounding it.

The Cultural Ecologies Track in the American Studies PhD program is offered in collaboration with the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute. Students undertake research and internships that align with the research program of The Cultural Ecologies Project. The centerpiece of this program is an internship experience that embeds students in partner organizations, working with them to solve problems specific to their institutions.

Internship sites inform student research for dissertations and provide the foundation for future employment. Directors at these sites assist faculty mentors in determining the coursework and skills students acquire through the academic side of the program. IUPUI serves as an academic laboratory for applied projects. The coursework and internships will often operate simultaneously, thus allowing students to work on problems and issues encountered during their internships in the courses they take. Moreover, faculty mentors and internship site directors collaborate before, during, and after student internships, much as researchers interact with their partners when working on externally funded projects.