American Studies

The Program in American Studies

The American Studies Program allows students to explore the complex interactions of peoples, cultures, social structures, and political institutions that have shaped the experiences of peoples living in the United States in an interdisciplinary fashion. What makes American Studies unique is that students are required to explore a particular line of inquiry of their choosing that transcends disciplinary boundaries. These five thematically linked courses can come from any of the affiliated disciplines, including Anthropology, Art History, Communication, Economics, English, Geography, Historic Preservation, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Linguistics, Music, Politics, Religion, Sociology, Spanish, and Women and Gender Studies (There is an approved list of these courses available in the most current catalog linked to below). Additionally, there are four core courses plus three additional electives that can come from anywhere in the elective list. The Introduction to American Studies (AMST 201) exposes students to the underlining philosophy of American Studies and the methodologies to which this field turns. The Sophomore American Studies Seminar (AMST 202) and the Junior American Studies Seminar (AMST 303) explore a topic in an interdisciplinary fashion chosen by the instructor. Finally, majors are required to write a senior thesis (AMST 485) under the guidance of a mentor. Internships (AMST 499) grant academic credit for career-oriented experience outside the classroom.


The American Studies major has a strong focus on critical reading and writing and is ideal preparation for graduate school, law school, or careers in teaching, journalism, communications, library science, public service, and business.

• Major Requirements and Course Descriptions for Students Who have Declared American Studies in Fall 2008 or later