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American Studies

What You'll Study

The Program in American Studies is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major for independent thinkers.  The major  provides students with a multifaceted understanding of the United States in all its complexity and diversity. Rooted in courses in history and social sciences, literature and the arts, and race and ethnicity, it invites students to develop fresh, insightful interpretations of America’s past and present, while also preparing them for the future as deft critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers. 

The core requirements illustrate how different disciplines approach the study and interpretation of American life and include three courses in each of two main areas: History & Institutions; and Literature, Art, and Culture. The required gateway seminar, "Perspectives on American Identity," explores the tensions between commonality and difference from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Beyond the core requirements of the major, American Studies expects students to define and pursue their own interests in interpreting important dimensions of American life. Accordingly, each student designs a thematic concentration of at least five courses drawn from fields such as history, literature, art, communication, theater, political science, African American studies, feminist studies, economics, cultural and social anthropology, religious studies, Chicana/o studies, law, sociology, education, Native American studies, music, and film. At least one of the five courses in a student's thematic concentration should be a small group seminar or a colloquium. With program approval, students may conclude the major with a capstone honors research project during their senior year.

 

 

Degrees Offered: 
BA
Minor
Honors

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