American Studies

Departmental Affiliation: History and Political Science

What is distinctive about American culture? What issues and concerns face America in terms of the global realities of war, terrorism, international economics, poverty vs. wealth, and public policy? What values do Americans treasure? The major in American Studes provides opportunity to focus on the influences of the past and present which affect American character, experience, and institutions.

This major draws from a variety of disciplines, such as Philosophy, English, History, Business, Art, and Political Science. It provides a strong foundation for careers in law, public policy, teaching, writing, philosophy, politics, and international relations. Double majors with Philosophy, English, History, Art, or Political Science are possible and encouraged.

The principal criterion for determining whether a course is applicable to an American Studies major is that it gives insight into American thought and culture: the nation's history, social structure, politics, commerce, all that comprises The American Experience , including its reflection in literature, art, and music.

Many regularly offered courses clearly fulfill this requirement and are listed as interdisciplinary electives in the following sections. Other courses that a department may occasionally offer will also apply, with approval of the American Studies Program Director.