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American Studies

American Flag, Mount Rushmore, Statue of Liberty

Interdisciplinary Major 
Degrees Offered: American Studies offers a program for a Bachelor of Arts.

Elliot Adams, Director and Adviser

Requirements for the Undergraduate Major

A major in American Studies consists of a minimum of 33-36 hours of coursework selected from two or three College of Arts and Letters departments in consultation with the American Studies director:

    • 15-18 required hours of American Studies, which includes 10 credits for designing and writing an extended research paper on some aspect of American culture
    • an additional 18 elective hours, at least 15 of which must be at the 3000/4000 level.

The Program in American Studies provides students with a broad understanding and appreciation of American life and culture(s). It is an interdisciplinary major in which work is done independently with a faculty adviser shaping a curriculum to suit a student's individual interests and goals.

Majors are exposed to various methodologies they learn how historians,  geographers, philosophers, literary critics, writers, film makers, social scientists, and artists practice their disciplines. They also have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty adviser in researching and writing a senior thesis. Some typical areas of emphasis for American Studies are explained in the column to the right.

The major is for students who want a multifaceted college experience rather than the traditional single focus of one academic department. 

For more information please contact:

Elliot Adams
Program Director
Office:FH 1400E
Mail Stop:126



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Typical Concentrations

Culture and Community

This emphasis is for students whose interests lie in the study of subcultures within American society. Options include occupational, regional, religious, gender, or age groups and the disciplinary orientations might include geography, folklore, women's studies, and/or cultural anthropology.

Society and Social Institutions

Students choosing this emphasis draw their methodology and content from sociology, political science, history, and philosophy and look at the larger social and political forces at work at the macro level of American society.

Artists’ Expressive Culture

This emphasis focuses on American art, music, dance, literature, and film as revelatory of national and regional culture and/or subcultures.

Last Updated: 3/29/17