To complete a major in American Studies, students must take 11 courses. At least five courses must be taken after the student has either declared an American Studies major or taken the Introduction to American Studies course.
The major’s two required courses AMS 200 Introduction to American Studies (usually taken during Freshman or Sophomore year) and AMS 420 Seminar in American Studies (taken Junior or Senior year) provide students with an understanding of interdisciplinary methodology at the onset of their career in the major, and the opportunity to apply this methodology to their own research interests.
Of the other nine courses in the major, four are elective courses (200-300 level) from an approved list. Students are particularly encouraged to complete an internship, practicum or independent project (such as the S.U.R.E. program) which will provide opportunities for collaborative learning, field research and public/ community service. Students may not count more than two internships or independent studies towards their major requirements.
The other five required courses form the student’s concentration. All majors with the help of the American Studies advisor will develop a specialized concentration. The concentration, made up of five courses in at least two different disciplines, will define a coherent area of specialization within the major by focusing on a particular problem, topic, or area of American society and culture. Students may chose from suggested concentrations including difference and diversity, popular culture, representations, material culture and cultural politics, or propose a student-designed thematic concentration. Successful focus areas might include a collection of courses around a specific time period, such as the 1960s or a particular issue, such as Education, Race and Class in Modern America. As part of their concentration proposals, students may petition that courses not presently listed as American Studies courses be approved for the major concentration. To be eligible for concentration credit, courses must be recommended by the advisor and approved by the American Studies Steering Committee. Students must select from the following courses: