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American Studies

American studies is an interdisciplinary program that provides opportunities for students to study American culture, society, identity, and politics by combining coursework in a wide variety of disciplines into a single major. Our approach to American studies emphasizes the "local" and the "global." In the program's Richmond Seminars students investigate the American experience through community studies and community-based learning. In its Tocqueville Seminars, students place the study of the United States in comparative and international perspective. A core group of American studies faculty, who serve as faculty advisors to majors, specialize in American history, politics, literature, media, religion, and theater.

The American Studies major emphasizes student initiative and encourages students to craft a distinctive program of study that meets the intellectual interests of each major. The major consists of nine courses, including a topical survey open primarily to first-year students and sophomores, and a junior-senior seminar that joins theory and practice in a capstone project. Students must also complete at least one Richmond Seminar and one Tocqueville Seminar. Majors work closely with program faculty to determine a specialized course of study for the remaining five electives, two of which must be taken at 300 level or higher.

American Studies
Major

The American Studies Major

Note: The grade point average of the coursework comprising the major must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C- (1.70).

9 units, including

  • AMST 201 Introduction to American Studies
  • AMST 301 Seminar in American Studies
  • AMST 381 Richmond Seminars
  • AMST 391 Tocqueville Seminars
  • Five electives in allied departments, chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor, including two at 300 level or higher

Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for electives in allied departments. Prerequisites do not count toward the major unless otherwise noted.

Minor

The American Studies Minor

The grade point average of coursework comprising the minor must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C- (1.70).

5 units, including:

  • AMST 201 Introduction to American Studies
  • AMST 381 Richmond Seminars
  • AMST 391 Tocqueville Seminars
  • Two elective courses from the approved list, drawn from two allied departments.