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American Studies

Effective 7/8/2021 this program is on administrative hold. There will be no admission to the program for current and prospective students while on administrative hold.


American Studies takes in an array of academic areas to explore big questions: Who have we been and who are we as individuals and communities, in terms of class, race, gender, religion, region, age, and sexuality? What roles do government, social movements, economic structures, media, and politics play in our society and culture? How do we express our ideas and experiences, convey them, and consume them? How do art, technology, and science shape our lives? What effect do place, where we live, work, play, shop, and travel have on our sense of community and identity, on the movement of people, goods, and ideas?

The American Studies program at Keene State explores American culture – its history, its multicultural identity, values, conflicts, and experiences. As broad and varied as the nation itself, American Studies includes literature, law, economics, politics, social science, gender studies, music, philosophy, foreign policy and urban studies. And studying the American experience – what it has been, what it is, and what it might become — goes even further, into nearly all arts and sciences, as seen through the American lens.

We encourage American Studies majors to be innovative. Working closely with an advisor who is a core faculty member in American Studies, you’ll design your course of study around core courses and an individualized set of area requirements in American history, literature and arts, and/or Social Sciences.

Because American Studies is an interdisciplinary program – one that crosses the lines between traditional academic areas – our faculty brings into the classroom a deep well of scholarship and expertise tailored to the interests of American Studies majors.

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In this Section:

Career Opportunities

American Studies prepares students for graduate school, law school, and career opportunities in:

  • elementary and secondary education
  • business
  • libraries, museums, and historic preservation
  • newspaper, magazine, broadcast journalism
  • film or media work;
  • federal, state, and local agencies, both public and private
  • government and politics
  • nonprofit organizations
  • writing, editing, and publishing
  • international relations and diplomacy
  • public relations and advertising
  • social services

American Studies majors who complete the teacher education option are eligible for Secondary Social Studies certification.


American Studies graduates gain a critical understanding of American culture, its people and communities, institutions, legal, commercial, and religious structures. They acquire a perspective of American life, past, present, and future, based on a variety of disciplines, and attain the skills to write and speak that perspective with authority.

The American Studies professors helped me come up with my own conclusions through discussion, debate, and a great set of core classes. My very train of thought constantly evolved in its own unique way, inspiring me to make a difference in my postgraduate life. No program at Keene State would be better for students who really want to make a difference following their undergraduate career.
-Justin Churchill ’11

Following evacuation orders, this store was closed.   The owner, a University of California graduate of Japanese descent, placed the "I AM AN AMERICAN" sign on the store front the day after Pearl Harbor.  Oakland, CA, April 1942.  Dorothea Lange. (WRA)Exact Date Shot unknownNARA FILE #:  210-G-2A-35WAR & CONFLICT #:  772
March 14, 2019 –

The Boston Tea Party and the 2017 Women’s March. Sojourner Truth and Emma Gonzalez. Model T’s and Teslas. Elvis Presley and Chance the Rapper. They’re all part of the big...

Ben Wimett ’08
December 19, 2017 –

In many ways, Ben Wimett ’08 is a typical 33-year-old. He lives in an apartment complex, has a job he loves, and dotes on his dog, Root Beer. In his...

Adriana DeLuca ’17
May 3, 2017 –

The winner of this year’s Robin Dizard American Studies Award, given to a junior or senior American studies major with a grade point average of 3.5 or more, found American...

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Admissions Office
☎ 603-358-2276
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435