Bachelor of Arts in American Studies

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Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation with the bachelor of arts degree, each student enrolled in the program must meet the UW Tacoma scholastic standards (2.0 UW GPA), credits required (minimum 180) and the final-year residency requirement and complete the following program requirements:

  • Complete all general education requirements not met with transfer courses. See advisor for details.
  • Complete a minimum of 45 credits of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences course work. Some majors or concentrations may require more.
  • Complete a minimum of 45 credits of upper-division course work, including transfer courses and UW Tacoma courses.
  • Complete 5 credits of English composition with a minimum 2.0 grade. This must be completed in a student’s first two quarters at UW Tacoma.
  • Complete the requirements for a major or concentration (minors are optional).
  • No more than 15 elective credits can be taken for a Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory grade. See advisor for details.
  • Complete at least 45 of last 60 credits in residence at the University of Washington Tacoma.
  • Meet with an advisor to complete a graduation application no later than the second week of the quarter in which the student plans to graduate.

Students take a total of 55 credits: 30 credits in American Studies Foundation courses and 25 credits in the Areas of Focus. Foundational courses lay the groundwork for a social, political and historical understanding of the United States’ cultural development. The “American Culture and Perspectives,” “AS Topics” and “AS Capstone” courses focus on American Studies’ concepts and methodologies and draw on the interdisciplinary strengths of the American Studies faculty to examine the American past and present using a range of methods and subjects.

Of the 55 credits in the major, students must take one course that meets the Ethnicity/Race subject matter requirement. This may be taken within the credits of Areas of Focus or elsewhere in the major.

Foundation Courses: 30 credits

Areas of Focus: 25 credits

American Studies students have access to broad-ranging curriculum and the opportunity to concentrate their study in one of the three designated areas. Courses that offer an exploration into American political and economic thought, American philosophic traditions and United States legal institutions are housed in American Systems & Experiments (List A). The myriad ways in which individual and community experiences are expressed in art, literature and popular culture are explored in the contingent of courses titled American Lives (List B). Courses selected for American Spaces (List C) reflect either a geographical or a metaphorical exploration of the political, cultural economic or environmental terrain. Because courses are drawn from a variety of disciplines and cover a wide range of material, some courses straddle two lists, and students are welcome to use a course for either requirement. With the exception of courses that meet the Ethnicity/Race requirement, a single course cannot meet multiple requirements

  • Students take five (5) Areas of Focus courses; one (1) from each list:
    • American Systems & Experiments (List A)
      • Political thought, systems of belief and philosophy and economy, and legal institutions as social experiments in the U.S.
      • See the American Studies webpage for approved courses that will fulfill American Systems & Experiments.
    • American Lives (List B)
      • Individual and community experience and its expression in art, literature, popular culture and other areas
      • See the American Studies webpage for approved courses that will fulfill American Lives.
    • American Spaces (List C)
      • Geography, environments: urban, suburban, rural, natural, Inter-American or the U.S. in international contexts
      • See the American Studies webpage for approved courses that will fulfill American Spaces.

Ethnicity/Race Requirement:

  • TAMST 210
  • In addition, American Studies are required to take at least one course within the requirements of the major that focuses on how ethnicity and race have been fundamental to the development of American culture. 
  • See the American Studies webpage for approved courses that will fulfill Ethnicity/Race requirement.