Courses of Study 2021-2022 
    May 24, 2024  
Courses of Study 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

American Studies

In the College of Arts and Sciences .


Course Offerings  


S. Samuels, director; C. Ahmann, G. Altschuler, E. Baptist, D. Bateman, R. Bensel, K. Bischoff, A. Bitar, J. Boyarin, J. Braddock, M. P. Brady, D. Chang, E. Cheyfitz, E. Diaz, P. Enns, J. Ezell, C. Finley, J. Frank, J. E. Gainor, M. C. Garcia,  F. Gleach, L. Glickman, T. Goffe, D. Green, S. Haenni, G. Hutchinson, L. Hyman, K. Jaime, K. Jordan, K. Kassam, J. Kohler-Hausmann, A. Livingston, A. Madrid, J. Margulies, V. Martinez-Matsuda, K. McCullough, S. Mettler, J. Michener, A. Moisey, V. Munasinghe, T. Nunley, M. O’Toole, J. Parmenter, J. Peraino, B. Piekut, S. Pond, A. Rana, P. Rich, R. Richardson, J. Rickard, R. Rickford, A. Sachs, N. Salvato, V. Santiago-Irizarry, C. Schmitt, S. Sheppard, D. Spires, L. VanClief-Stefanon, S. Vider, S. Villenas, S. Warner, L. Warren, S. Wong


The Major

The major in the American Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary engagement with what America means in the United States and in a global context.  Students are encouraged to look at the meaning and reality of the evolving United States as a question still in need of answering and as an experiment still in process, not as a dream fully realized. Multiple perspectives and methodologies are used, which require students to synthesize knowledge in ways that develop the skills needed for rigorous, complex analysis. Many of our students go on to graduate study in disciplines such as law, medicine, and education and to careers in digital and broadcast media, teaching, publishing, and many other fields.

Note: In addition to the major requirements outlined below, all students must meet the college graduation requirements .

Declaring the major:

Requirements for the major:

Coursework requirements

  • Twelve courses (12) with a minimum of 42 credits from the American Studies roster.
  • No more than six (6) courses from any one discipline.
  • Courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.
  • Six (6) courses defined in area of concentration determined in consultation with faculty advisor.

Major distribution requirements

  • Three (3) courses with substantial focus on pre-1900 material.
  • Two (2) courses must deal with American diversity.  (In American Studies, “diversity” courses are those that address social justice or inequality, with an emphasis on race, class, gender, and/or sexuality.)
  • One (1) 4000-level American Studies seminar.

Notes on course credits

  • AMST 4998 , taught in Washington, D.C., does not fulfill the seminar requirement.
  • A single course may satisfy more than one of these requirements: e.g., a course on Native Americans in the 1800s will fulfill a pre-1900 course and an American diversity course.
  • Area of concentration can be designed to fit the particular interests of a student, but it must include subjects in at least two disciplines.
  • Possible areas of concentration include “visual studies,” “cultural studies,” “race and ethnicity,” “legal and Constitutional studies,” “American institutions,” “class and social structure,” “the American environment, “American capitalism,” “community-engaged learning and research.”
  • Courses taken to satisfy the concentration may be used to fulfill other requirements for the major.
  • With approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies or their faculty advisor, students may count two courses relevant to American experience that are not on the American Studies course list toward the major.

The Minor

The minor in American Studies offers students in every College an opportunity for interdisciplinary engagement with the cultures, histories, and global context of the United States. Successful completion of the minor will be noted on students’ official transcripts.

Declaration of the minor:

Requirements for the minor:

Coursework requirements

Students must take five (5) American Studies courses (15 credits) with four (4) courses at 2000 level or above and fulfilling the following distribution requirements:

Notes on course credits

  • Must receive a grade of C or higher in all courses.
  • Must meet with Director of Undergraduate Studies by April 30th to certify completion of the minor.
  • No more than two (2) courses may be taken in any one discipline or field.
  • One course may be taken S/U, but AMST 1101  must be taken for a grade.
  • “Diversity” courses address social justice or inequality, with an emphasis on race, class, gender, and/or sexuality.


  • Candidates must maintain an average of B+ in courses pertinent to the major and have taken at least one course in which they wrote a research paper. 
  • During the second semester of their junior year, the student must identify an appropriate thesis topic and find an American Studies faculty member willing to sponsor and supervise the research. The advisor and at least the general subject of the thesis must be identified by the May 1 deadline for the application for admission to the Honors Program.
  • Upon approval, students will be provided a permission number to enroll in AMST 4993 - Honors Essay Tutorial I .
  • At the end of their first semester of their senior year, candidates must meet with their faculty advisor and a second member of the American Studies faculty to discuss their progress. If satisfactory, the student will be provided a permission number to enroll in  AMST 4994 - Honors Essay Tutorial II .