American Studies (AM) major

American Studies students have the opportunity to explore diverse aspects of the American experience by studying cultural, artistic, political and economic patterns in the United States. You may also focus on specific subjects such as ethnicity or religion or on particular modes of inquiry, such as those found in social science, history or the study of literature, media and the arts.

Career options

Students in American Studies pursue careers in media, education, government, business, nonprofit agencies and law. Depending on the focus students choose, they may pursue graduate studies in related disciplines.

Student learning outcomes

As an American Studies graduate, you will possess a broad-ranging knowledge and expertise about specific aspects of the American experience.

  • You will know the major geographical markings of the United States: mountain ranges, river systems, coastal lowlands and plains.
  • You will have learned the major groupings of North American Indians and the diversity of indigenous culture.
  • You will be familiar with the major contours of American history including Euro-American colonization, Indian wars and African-American slavery, the American Revolution, Civil War, Progressivism and the twentieth century rise to world power, including the Cold War and Globalism.
  • You will understand the relationship between American liberalism, equality, democracy, capitalism and mixed economies. You will be able to trace the rise of republican institutions and the further enfranchisement of women and freedmen through the civil rights movement of the early and mid-twentieth century.
  • You will understand the intersection of race, class, gender, environment, opportunity and freedom (and oppression) in American Civilization.

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