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North American Studies

Pre-master programmes are not independent study programmes; therefore you cannot apply for admission to the pre-master North American Studies (NAS). The pre-master programme is meant to provide a solution for students who have registered for the Master’s programme in North American Studies, but who, according to the admission committee, still have deficiencies to eliminate. Eligible students will be required to follow either a 30 EC pre-master track (one semester) or a 60 EC pre-master track (two semesters). Each track has two starting dates: September and February.

The following students are eligible for enrolment in the Pre-Master programme in North American Studies:

  • Students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an academic university, but do not yet have sufficient knowledge of American Studies will be admitted to the master’s programme in NAS if they successfully complete a pre-master track in NAS of 30 EC;

  • Students with a bachelor’s degree at a university of professional education (HBO) in History, English, European Studies, or Journalism will be admitted to the master’s programme in NAS if they successfully complete a pre-master track in NAS of 60 EC.


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Required courses

From the Pilgrims to the Present: An Introduction to American Studies (Minor/Pre-master) 10
Literature 5A: American Literature, 1917 to the present 10

Choose one of the two electives

History of American Revolutions 10
Seeking Refuge from Slavery in North America in the 19th Century 10

Second semester

Required courses

Pre-master Thesis North American Studies 10
Slavery and Memory in the Black Atlantic 10

Choose one of the following:

The Birth of an Empire? The US in the World from the American Revolution to the Late Nineteenth Century 10
Afrikanen in Amerika: Slavernij en emancipatie in de Verenigde Staten, 1619-1877 10

More info


The pre-master programme consists of courses that are offered in the BA-minor in American Studies as well as some advanced courses in American history and American literature or film.

Students who have to take a (one-semester) pre-master programme of 30 EC take three courses offered in their 1st semester. Students who have to take a pre-master programme of 60 EC take three courses in their first semester and two courses in their second semester. The 60 EC programme includes writing a 8000-word final paper, which is the equivalent of a BA thesis, on a topic related to one of the pre-master courses.

Note: the programme varies to some extent each year and may be adjusted to fill specific deficiencies of individual students. The admission committee will determine the specific pre-master courses you will have to follow; if necessary, the Coordinator of Studies may adjust the programme to meet specific deficiencies.