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American Studies

Bachelor of Arts

Effective fall 2021, there will be no admission to the program for both current and prospective students as this program is on administrative hold.

The American Studies program offers students an interdisciplinary liberal arts education. Students in American Studies engage in a challenging exploration of historical and contemporary American culture and the American multicultural identity, including its past and present values, conflicts, and experiences. Working closely with an advisor who is a core faculty member in American Studies, students design their course of study around four core courses; an individualized set of area requirements in United States history, Cultures, Contexts, and Diversity, and Arts, Interdisciplinary & Social Sciences on American Subjects; and a thesis requirement. American Studies prepares students for career opportunities in elementary and secondary education; graduate school; law school; business; work in libraries, museums, and historic preservation; newspaper, magazine, broadcast journalism; film or media work; work in 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; and social services. American Studies majors who complete the teacher education option are eligible for Secondary Social Studies certification.

Integrative Studies Requirements

40 credits minimum

Major Requirements

40 credits

Core Courses

16 credits

Choose two of the following courses:

  • IHAMST 140 What Is American Studies?
  • IHAMST 248 Intro to Indigenous Cultures of the Americas
  • IIAMST 250 Interpreting American Cultures

Take both of the following courses:

  • AMST 490 Advanced Special Topics
  • AMST 495 Seminar

Area Courses

24 credits

Select two courses from United States history:

  • IHHIST 161 American Encounters to 1877
  • IHHIST 162 American Encounters from 1877
  • IHHIST 358 American Empire I
  • IHHIST 359 American Empire II
  • HIST 360 Natives and Newcomers in North America 1500-1766
  • HIST 361 The American Revolution
  • HIST 362 American Slavery/American Capitalism 1787-1848
  • HIST 363 United States in Civil War Period 1850-1876
  • HIST 364 19th-Century America
  • IHHIST 368 Brahmins & Bosses: Boston History
  • IHHIST 371 Africans in the Colonial Atlantic World
  • IHHIST 372 Gender and Power in Early North America 1600-1800
  • IHHIST 375 War and Culture in Early America 1600-1865
  • IHHIST 376 Modern United States Military History 1865-Present
  • IHHIST 377 Sports and American History
  • IHHIST 378 Alcohol and American History

Select two courses in Cultures, Contexts, and Diversity:

  • AMST 350 Perspectives on American Culture
  • IHAMST 372 Readings in American Studies
  • IIAMST 375 American Cultural Studies
  • AMST 390 Critical Approaches
  • IIAMST 391 Interdisciplinary Topics in American Studies
  • ENG 344 Studies in American Literature
  • ENG 345 Studies in African American Literature
  • ENG 347 American Indian Writers and their Cultures
  • ENG 370 Studies in Literatures of the Americas
  • IIWGS 300 Critical Ethnic Studies
  • WGS 302 Queer Theories
  • WGS 303 Latina Feminist Theories

Select two courses from Arts, Interdisciplinary & Social Sciences on American Subjects:

  • ART 214 Modern Art
  • CJS 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice Studies
  • IAMU 112 Latin American Music Survey
  • IAMU 216 History of Rock and Roll
  • IAMU 218 The History of Jazz
  • IAMU 242 Listening to America
  • ISPOSC 210 United States Politics
  • ISPOSC 211 State and Local Politics
  • POSC 316 Constitutional Law
  • IIWGS 210 Reproductive Justice
  • IIWGS 240 Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Pop Culture

Certification as a Social Studies Teacher

American Studies is an approved major for students seeking Secondary Social Studies certification. Students will need to take the following certification requirements:

Dual Major in Education

  • Secondary Education

Requirements for Certification

IHHIST 161 American Encounters to 1877
IHHIST 162 American Encounters from 1877
IHHIST 111 The Ancient and Medieval World
IHHIST 112 The Modern World
ISECON 104 Introduction to Macroeconomics
ISPSYC 101 General Psychology
One course in Geography

Select one of the following:

  • ISANTH 110 Cultural Anthropology
  • 100- to 200-level course in Sociology

Select one of the following:

  • ISPOSC 210 United States Politics (This course also applies to the A&H and/or Social Studies area of the American Studies major.)
  • ISPOSC 220 International Relations


Select courses to reach a total of 120 credits for the degree.

Degree Requirements

120 credits
40 credits at the upper-level