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 about America 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 30b:  American Environmental History
  • AMST 35a:  Hollywood and American Culture
  • AMST/MUS 38b:  American Music:  From Psalms to Hip Hop
  • AMST/MUS 39b:  Protest through Song:  Music that Shaped America
  • AMST/MUS 41a:  Leonard Bernstein:  Composer, Conductor, Educator, and Humanitarian
  • AMST 50a:  Religion and American Culture
  • AMST 55a:  Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in American Culture
  • AMST 60a:  Legal Boundaries of Public and Private Life
  • AMST 66b:  American Scholars: Intellectuals in American Life
  • AMST 103b:  Advertising and the American Media
  • AMST 106b:  Food and Farming in America
  • AMST 130b: Television and American Culture
  • AMST 132b:  International Affairs and the American Media
  • AMST 136b:  Planet Hollywood:  American Cinema in Global Perspective
  • AMST 137b:  Journalism in Twentieth-Century America
  • AMST 177b:  True Crime in American Culture

B. Two core courses in American Culture, 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 program 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.