Requirements for Major

Students are expected to declare their American Studies major and to develop an individual plan of study by the end of their sophomore year.

American Studies offers courses in the fields of media, the environment, gender, race and ethnicity, journalism, law, politics and intellectual and cultural history. It also cross-lists courses in American Studies from a variety of departments and programs. Special opportunities can be provided for supervised fieldwork, internships and directed readings. Many majors study abroad in their junior year to gain a cross-cultural perspective. Seniors wishing to earn departmental honors must write a thesis in a full-year course (AMST 99d) taken under direction of one of the faculty members in the department.

Required Courses


A.  At least one course from the Main Currents in American Studies cluster:

  • AMST 25b:  Individualism in America
  • AMST 30b:  American Environmental History
  • AMST 35a:  Hollywood and American Culture
  • AMST 40a:  Women in American History
  • AMST 45b:  Violence and Non-Violence in American Culture
  • AMST 50a:  Religion and American Culture
  • AMST 55a:  Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in American Culture
  • AMST 60a:  Legal Boundaries of Public and Private Life


B. Two core courses in American Culture, often taken sequentially:

  • AMST 100a:  Classic Texts in American Culture to 1900
  • AMST 100b:  Twentieth Century American Culture


C. Six (6) semester-length courses in American studies, chosen either from within the department or from an approved list of America-themed courses from other departments. Click on the “cross-listed courses” link for a list of approved courses. Extra Main Currents courses may also be counted as electives.

D.  No course, whether required or elective, for which a student receives a grade below a C-minus may be counted toward the major.

E. To be eligible for honors in the program, seniors must enroll in AMST 99d (Senior Research) and participate in a year-long honors colloquium. AMST 99d does not satisfy other program  requirements.  Click for the honors program.

F. Students who double-major may not count more than two eligible courses for both programs or departments.