Academic areas: humanities and social science
Academic fields: literature, history, political science, sociology, cultural studies
The leading field: cultural studies
The American Studies Center is an interdisciplinary research and higher-education institution of the University of Warsaw. Its faculty members specialize in various fields of knowledge about the US and Latin America—culture, literature, arts, film, media, history, economy, politics, history of ideas, society, and law.
The ASC has a full-time liberal arts master program. It lasts two years or four semesters. Instruction is in English by permanent and adjunct faculty. Additionally, students are offered classes in Spanish. Among our permanent faculty are four US-born professors and one professor of political science from Mexico.
The MA Program in American Studies, with the Western Hemispheric studies component, is unique in the Polish higher education system. The program is meant to help develop research skills (especially through the system of research proseminars) and offers courses on the United States of America, Latin American, and the whole region of the Western Hemisphere.
In addition, students have opportunities to develop skills other than those needed for conducting research; they become proficient in the so-called “soft skills” which they need both in academia and outside (e.g., self-presentation, teamwork, intercultural communication, work organization, and effective time management).
Our graduates are awarded MA degrees in American studies. They are familiar with facts and understand processes and cultural phenomena in both Americas. They are acquainted with theories explaining the complexity of relationships between the phenomena. They know how to identify, understand, describe, interpret, and explain the causes and the dynamics of cultural and social processes in both Americas. They know how to use various resources for this purpose and how to employ several research methods developed in humanities and social sciences. Their English is at least at B2+ level and – provided they take the Spanish language course - Spanish is at least at A2 level.
Thanks to our program, our graduates have skills and competences to collect, evaluate, and classify cultural facts and to draw conclusions. They know how to work in a team, how to develop a project, how to present its results. In short, they know how to carry out work done daily by researchers, entrepreneurs, journalists, teachers of humanities and social sciences, social activists, and specialists working at various public institutions.
Our graduates have skills and competences to continue their studies in a doctoral or PhD programs in humanities or social science with specialization in American, Latin American or Western Hemisphere studies.
ASC graduates find employment in business, trade, journalism, media, cultural institutions, higher education, public administration, diplomacy, international organizations, and tourism.
The UW „Ksawerów” Building at 22 Aleja Niepodległości, Mokotów
We provide a comfortable environment for our students. The ASC has 14 classrooms and lecture halls on the two floors of the UW “Ksawerow” building at Aleja Niepodleglosci 22. We hold classes Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
As for disabled access to our facilities, the “Ksawerow” building is fitted with an elevator and a wheelchair ramp. The bathrooms are accessible for wheelchair users and fully adapted for disabled use.
Thirteen of our classrooms are fitted with computer equipment, have Internet access as well as all the hardware and software necessary to play popular video formats, DVDs, and video CDs. At the “Ksawerow” facility the wireless network EDUROAM is available.
The ASC Library collection is highly valued by students, researchers, and journalists in American studies. The library holdings include materials on both the United States and Latin America, in both humanities and social sciences.
Admission rules for candidates with Polish diplomas
Studies are addressed to candidates holding first-cycle degree e.g. licencjat or B.A., engineering degrees or any other equivalent degrees.
The basis for qualification to study is a written exam, which is a test of predisposition to study in English. Candidates should present knowledge of English language at least at B2 level, however C1 level is recommended. The test consists of 100 questions checking reading comprehension, logical reasoning and ability to work with written text in English language.
Candidates must obtain at least 40% out of the 100 possible points. Based on the results of the qualification procedure, the Admission Committee draws up ranking lists of all candidates.
Candidates graduated from other programmes than American studies, English studies and Iberian studies will have 90 hours of additional classes at their first year: two chosen lectures from the first and second year of Bachelor programme of studies, as well as exercises American History and Society.
For preparation one of the textbooks for the development of English proficiency for university study, especially textbooks for reading comprehension.
- Godfrey, Jeanne. Reading and Making Notes. London: Palgrave, 2010.
- Slaght, John. English for Academic Study: Reading. Garnet Education, 2012.
- Upton, Thomas A. Reading Skills for Success: A Guide to Academic Texts. Ann Arbor, MI.: University of Michigan Press, 2004.
- Wallace, Michael J. Study Skills in English; Students’ Book: A Course in Reading Skills for Academic Purposes. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
- Wallace, Mike, and Wray, Alison. Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates. London: Sage, 2016.
- Quality press, i.e. The New York Times, The Guardian
The entrance exam consists of 100 questions. All questions are in a multiple-choice format, with four answers, one of which is correct. Candidates get 1 point for each correct answer, no point for no answer, and minus 0.25 for each incorrect answer. The total maximum score is 100. Candidates are required a minimum score of 40 to qualify for the program.
The questions are formulated in a manner that allows to measure simultaneously:
- language skills and analytical skills to comprehend complex texts. Candidates are asked to indicate the most accurate synonyms, antonyms, oxymorons, definitions, and grammatically correct phrases. Language skills required to answer correctly this type of questions correspond to English language proficiency at least at level B2. Questions of this kind make about 20% of all exam questions.
- Intellectual aptitude for the studies:
2a. intellectual capacity and skill to comprehend scholarly or erudite texts. Candidates are asked to read short excerpts of fiction and non-fiction as well as articles from quality periodicals. Questions that follow test candidates’ intellectual skills to process data discussed in the texts; candidates are requested to draw conclusions, construct opposite claims, reconstruct the order of events, discern an emotional, moral or political message of the text. English skills at level B2 are necessary to comprehend such texts but are insufficient to answer the questions correctly. Intellectual aptitude and training as well as general knowledge about the contemporary social and cultural trends are all necessary to succeed. Questions of this kind make about 50-55% of all exam questions.
2b. knowledge about historical events, geographic, political, and social phenomena, artistic trends and ideologies crucial to the development of societies and cultures of the Western Hemisphere. English skills at level B1 and some knowledge about the Americas are necessary to answer these questions correctly. Questions of this kind make about 20-25% of all questions.
Admission procedure for candidates with foreign diplomas
Candidates are qualified on the same rules as applicable to candidates with Polish diplomas.
Exceptions from admission procedure
The winners of the third stage of the "Know America" Competition, organized by the Rural Development Foundation and the UW American Studies Center, are exempted from the qualification procedure. They are accepted for studies in the first place.
Date of the exam: September 17, 2019 at 10:00 A.M.-12:00 noon, room 317 at the American Studies Center, University of Warsaw, Niepodległości 22, Warszawa
Announcement of results: September 20, 2019
Reception of documents:
- I round: 23rd-24th of September, 2019, room 317, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- II round (in case of not fulfilling the limit during I round): 25th-26th of September, 2019, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- III round (in case of not fulfilling the limit during II round): 27th and 30th of September, 2019, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Find us on the map: American Studies Center