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Bachelor of Arts in American Studies Degree

American Studies constitutes a multidisciplinary program for the exploration of the past, present, and future of the United States. It brings together faculty and students from a variety of disciplines to compare and to exchange knowledge about the American experience. The program offers a rich, rigorous approach combining intellectual insights from literature, history, sociology, political science, and other social sciences and humanities. Rather than limiting majors to a single department's offerings, the program allows students the freedom to complete courses in a variety of traditional disciplines.

Majors develop critical thinking skills that allow them not only to pursue rewarding careers but also to act as responsible citizens of the 21st Century. By fostering a diverse and dynamic academic journey that reaches across disciplinary boundaries into a wide range of perspectives on the American experience, the Program encourages its students to develop intellectual resources that will sustain them in a wide variety of careers and avocations. Students may continue their study through graduate work in American Studies or pursue careers in law, business, teaching and museum fields. An American Studies degree is particularly appropriate for students planning careers in law, communication, government, social work and journalism.

Because the United States is a nation held together by different and often conflicting stories of nationhood, the American Studies major is designed to create dialogue about the multiple ways in which these stories are told. The American Studies major demands that students develop and refine their own theories and assumptions through reflective practices on the contested meaning of America's stories. It describes the stories of America in different modes - written and electronic, verbal and nonverbal, visual and auditory. Most of all, it promotes an understanding of the American experience using the approaches and methods of a variety of disciplines.

Degree Requirements


General Education Requirements

38-41 sem. hrs

  Ethics Course Requirement 3 hrs
  PHIL 330View Syllabus Ethics


Foreign Language Requirement

6 sem. hrs


Multicultural Requirement

3 sem. hrs

  (Courses from this list are noted in the major requirements below with an asterisk.)


Core Requirements

33 sem. hrs

  (All courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Courses in the major cannot be taken as Pass/Fail.)
  AMST 280View Syllabus (POSC 280) American Political and Social Thought 3 hrs
  AMST 490View Syllabus American Studies Senior Seminar 3 hrs
  ECON 293View Syllabus Macroeconomics* 3 hrs
  ENGL 241View Syllabus American Literature I 3 hrs
  ENGL 242View Syllabus American Literature II 3 hrs
  HIST 121View Syllabus American History to 1877 3 hrs
  HIST 122View Syllabus American History Since 1877 3 hrs
  POSC 111View Syllabus American National Government 3 hrs
  POSC 215View Syllabus State and Local Government 3 hrs
  SOCI 270View Syllabus (ANTH 270) Minority Cultures and Relations* 3 hrs
  Research Methods Course
  (choose one course from the following):
  HIST 294View Syllabus Introduction to the Historian's Craft 3 hrs
  POSC 395View Syllabus (PADM 395) Political Science and Public Administration Research Methods 3 hrs
  PSYC 325View Syllabus (SOCI 325) Quantitative Research Methods 3 hrs
  PSYC 327View Syllabus (SOCI/ANTH 327) Qualitative Research Methods 3 hrs



24 sem. hrs

  At least 21 hours of the electives must be at the 300-400 level. Transfer credit may be applied but must explicitly contain ''American,'' ''United States,'' or ''U.S.'' in the title. At least two elective courses must be completed in each of the following clusters:
  ENVS 352View Syllabus (HIST 352) American Environmental History 3 hrs
  HIST 312View Syllabus Twentieth Century American Diplomatic History 3 hrs
  HIST 318View Syllabus The U.S. and the Vietnam War 3 hrs
  HIST 321View Syllabus History of Modern U.S. 3 hrs
  HIST 342View Syllabus American Civil War 3 hrs
  HIST 350View Syllabus American Revolution 3 hrs
  HIST 362View Syllabus History of the American West 3 hrs
  HIST 370View Syllabus American Military History 3 hrs
  HIST 371View Syllabus (MGMT 371) History of American Business 3 hrs
  HIST 372View Syllabus American Indian History* 3 hrs
  HIST 373View Syllabus (WMST 373) Women and Gender in American History 3 hrs
  HIST 374View Syllabus African American History 3 hrs
  ENVS 312View Syllabus (POSC 312) Environmental Politics 3 hrs
  MGMT 311View Syllabus (PADM/POSC 311) Public Administration and Policy 3 hrs
  PADM 315View Syllabus (POSC 315) American Public Policy 3 hrs
  POSC 330View Syllabus Media and Politics 3 hrs
  POSC 332View Syllabus The American Presidency 3 hrs
  POSC 340View Syllabus Judicial Process 3 hrs
  POSC 350View Syllabus Legislative Process 3 hrs
  POSC 360View Syllabus U.S. Foreign Policy 3 hrs
  POSC 361View Syllabus American Political Parties 3 hrs
  POSC 440View Syllabus Constitutional Law 3 hrs
  AMST 375View Syllabus (SOCI 375) American Social Movements 3 hrs
  ARTS 406View Syllabus American Art History 3 hrs
  COMM 214View Syllabus Mass Communication in Society 3 hrs
  ENGL 371View Syllabus Ethnic Traditions in American Literature 3 hrs
  HUMS 365View Syllabus (SOCI 365) American Social Policy 3 hrs
  MUSI 323View Syllabus Music of the United States 3 hrs
  SOCI 216View Syllabus American Social Problems 3 hrs
  SOCI 230View Syllabus Sociology of Sports 3 hrs
  SOCI 310View Syllabus (WMST 310) Women and Society 3 hrs
  SOCI 401View Syllabus The American Community 3 hrs


Other Electives

10-19 sem. hrs

  Students are encouraged to use the remaining semester hours to earn a minor in one of the academic areas listed for the major or in an area related to American Studies.

120 sem. hrs

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