American Studies

Once thought of as the world's "melting pot," American culture has evolved into a richly complex multicultural mosaic.

American culture is a fusion of history, politics, sociology, literature, the visual and performing arts, philosophy and religion that reflects the diverse heritages of its citizens. As an American studies major with a concentration in American cultural studies in one of the nation's formative cities, you will gain a holistic understanding of the United States through a focus on its institutions, organizations, myths, values, ideologies, cultural practices and cultural products.

Major Requirements

View the 2018-2019 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

Requirements for B.A. in American Studies

The major in American Studies is a 12-course interdisciplinary program.

1-4. Foundations in American Studies:

  • AMST1101 Introduction to American Studies (AI-L)
    POLSC1201 Introduction to American Politics and Government (SA) 
    SOC1105 Major Institutions in U.S. Society
  • HIST2106 A History of New England: 1500-Present
  • POLSC1201 Introduction to American Politics and Government
  • SOC1105 Major Institutions in U.S. Society

5-6.  Democracy: Two Courses from the following: 

  • ART1203 Art of Resistance:Social Justice & the Visual Arts (AI-A)
  • POLSC2225 The 1960s
  • POLSC2232 Parties and Interests in American Politics: Polarized America
  • POLSC2602 Introduction to Law and the Judicial System
  • POLSC3160 American Political Thought
  • POLSC3201 Congress, Representation and the Legislative Process
  • POLSC3202 The American Presidency

7.-8. Power, Inequality, and Society: Two courses from the following: :

  • ENGL2309 The Haves and the Have-Nots: American Authors on Money, Class and Power (AI-L)
  • SOC1203 Crime & Justice
  • SOC2105 Race, Ethnicity & Group Relations (SA)
  • SOC2127 Social Class & Inequality (SA)
  • SOC3201 Worlds in Motion: The Causes & Consequences of Migration

9.-11. American Stories: Three courses from the following:

  • ART2217 American Art to 1940 (AI-A)
  • ENGL2413 African American Literature: A Tradition of Resistance (AI-L)
  • ENGL2604 American Voices II: US Literature Since 1865 (AI-L)
  • ENGL3601 Crime Stories &American Culture
  • HIST2130 African American History: 1865-Present (H)
  • HIST2205 Women in American History
  • HIST3121 Surviving Columbus: History of Native American, 1492 to 1992
  • HIST3205 Themes in the History of the American West

12. Capstone

  • AMST4178 Directed Research in American Studies OR AMST4995 Internship

Minor Requirements

View the 2018-2019 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

The American Studies minor offers students an introduction to the rigors of interdisciplinary study while serving as an excellent complement to traditional arts and sciences disciplines, such as History, English, Art, Political Science and Sociology for students who chose have a particular interest in the study of U.S. society.

Requirements for Minor:

  • 1. AMST1101 Introduction to American Studies
  • 2. POLSC1201 Introduction to American Politics and Government (SA) OR SOC1105 Major Institutions in US Society (SA) 
  • 3. HIST2106 History of New England: 1500 to Present
  • 4. One 2000-level course from American Studies catalog 
  • 5. One 3000-level course from American Studies catalog 

Learning Goals + Outcomes

  • To understand and apply a range of methods for analyzing American culture across the disciplines, including historical, sociological and literary or aesthetic analysis
  • To understand the significance of diversity in the U.S. through the analysis of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality or other group identity formulations in a U.S. cultural context
  • To understand how major U.S. institutions and structures, including governmental and cultural institutions, reflect and shape American society
  • To construct and communicate arguments in written and oral forms addressing the significance of primary texts or material artifacts from American culture, such as works of literature, painting, photography, historical records and music
  • To conduct scholarly research on American Studies related topics

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