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Program Requirements

Because this is an interdisciplinary major, students must work closely with their faculty advisor as well as with Academic and Career Counseling in the planning of their coursework throughout their pursuit of the degree. All American Studies degree programs must consist of the following:

1. Core Course

American Studies Core Course, AMS 101, ideally to be completed during the sophomore year. Non-sophomores can be admitted by permission of faculty advisor or the course instructor.

2. Survey Requirement

Two discipline-based survey or introductory American Studies-related courses, not necessarily from the same department.

Examples include:

ART 75 American Art
ENG 71 Survey of American Writers to the Civil War
ENG 72 Survey of American Writers since the Civil War
GGR 43 The United States and Canada
HIS 3 American Civilization 1607-1877
HIS 4 American Civilization Since 1877
PHI 37 American Philosophy RPHL 8 The American Religious Imagination
SOC/ANT 63 Gender Roles
SOC 69 Race and Ethnicity

Other survey courses may be selected to complete this requirement with approval of the student’s faculty advisor and the Program Director.

3. Concentration Area

With his or her faculty advisor, each student must design a concentration area within the American Studies major, personally tailored to suit the student’s interests. Each student must take a minimum of five courses approved by his or her American Studies faculty advisor within this concentration. This plan of study should be determined with his or her advisor by the end of the student’s sophomore year. No more than two of these five courses may come from a single department. For concentration examples, see below. Other concentrations may be developed with approval of the student’s faculty advisor and the Program Director.

4. American Studies Electives

Three free electives chosen from any appropriate American Studies courses. These courses should be distinct from the student’s concentration area.

5. Capstone Course

American Studies Capstone Course, AMS 102, which includes the senior seminar theme to be determined by the individual instructor. A substantial term paper is a requirement of this course.

6. Global/Comparative Requirements

At least one course taken must either deal with the United States in a global or transnational context, or provide a comparative look at the United States and at least one other nation.

7. Cluster Requirements

Of the courses described in items 2 through 4, at least one must be from the ARTS CLUSTER (i.e. Art, Music, Theater, Film and Dance, and Media Arts), at least two must be from the SOCIAL SCIENCES CLUSTER (i.e. History, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, Sociology and Anthropology, Geography), at least two must be from the HUMANITIES CLUSTER (i.e. English, Foreign Languages, Philosophy, Religious Studies).
Total: 36 credits in American Studies, total credits needed for graduation: 128 (129 credits including Freshman Seminar/College 101).

The cumulative average in American Studies must be 2.25 at the completion of the degree requirements.

Students in the Honors Program may substitute Honors Core or Advanced Elective courses for courses described in Requirements 2 through 4 with approval of the student’s faculty advisor and the Program Director.