American Studies Major

Additional Information on the American Studies program

An interdisciplinary and interdepartmental major designed to provide an analysis of American thought, culture, and society, past and present. The required and elective courses balance flexibility and coherence as students select areas of concentration from the broad categories of American arts, American thought and experience, and American institutions and social practices. Students are also encouraged to address specifically local, regional and comparativist dimensions of these categories both through their coursework and through internships at local institutions and museums.

A student majoring in American studies must take the seven required courses listed below in addition to seven elective courses selected from a list of appropriate courses grouped in three major categories and offered by participating departments.

Normally, the elective courses are selected from above the 100 level and at least three of the seven courses must be above the 300 level. With the exception of American Studies 301 and 501, all of the required courses should normally be completed by the junior year.

Students interested in American studies should consult with the director as soon as possible so they can arrange their program with an eye to the American studies requirements. The director also maintains an up-to-date list of acceptable electives. Full descriptions of the courses are provided by the participating departments.


Required Courses

American Studies



Elective Courses

Students should consult with the director for additional or alternative courses.

American Arts

American Institutions and Social Processes

Strongly Encouraged Courses

Although not included in the program’s requirements, American Studies students are strongly encouraged to take one or more of the following courses as early in their career as possible.