American Studies Major

American Studies offers an interdisciplinary major that explores American culture, in all its complexity, from a variety of perspectives.

In learning to make connections between a range of fields and disciplines from history to art, politics to religious studies, mass media to popular culture, among many others, students gain a multifaceted understanding of the United States in global context.

The program fosters flexible thinking, creative problem solving skills, synthetic analysis, strong writing and oral presentation, an understanding of and familiarity with multiple kinds of media and texts, a broad understanding of social, cultural, and historical contexts, and intercultural awareness.

By working with faculty to define an area of concentration, students come away with the intellectual skills and perspective necessary to understand, contextualize, and critically engage the opportunities and challenges of our complex, changing, interdependent world.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Master the following critical thinking skills:
    • Demonstrate the skill of close reading of cultural texts and the ability to make meaningful connections between different kinds of texts;
    • Demonstrate the ability to use written communication and expression to analyze and synthesize multiple texts;
    • Demonstrate the ability to imagine and construct discourse to reach different audiences;
    • Demonstrate the ability to construct and present an analytical argument.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of U.S. culture in a global context
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of how American Studies frames arguments about culture by employing methods and sources from multiple fields and disciplines
  4. Demonstrate critical self-awareness and the ability to articulate the relationship between culture and one's individual beliefs and values
  5. Demonstrate the ability to identify and use analytical skills and knowledge necessary for engaged citizenship in a participatory democracy.