The American Studies Department offers courses on the culture and people in the United States, past and present, using sources, techniques, and approaches from multiple disciplines. You will examine the diversity of American culture and society, and often use race, ethnicity, gender, class, and place as categories of analysis. As a major, you will plan a program of study that reflects your personal interests and makes connections across subjects, time, and geography. Some students do research with faculty, many study off campus, (U.S. and abroad), most do internships, and all complete a senior thesis.
- Regional Culture: The Hudson River
- Diversity in the United States
- American Sports/American Culture
- Global Perspectives of the United States
- American Cultural Periods: 1960s
As you might expect from an interdisciplinary field, American Studies majors dive into the endless cultural opportunities beyond the classroom. Recent examples include:
- Summer research with a faculty member on the impact of social media on comedy
- Internships at NBC, NPR, Dove, MASSCreative, and the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation
- A semester studying the European Union in Freiburg, Germany, and one at the Naval History Museum in Washington, D.C. (The most popular study abroad programs for majors are Washington Semester in Washington, D.C.; Skidmore in London–King’s College, and University of Melbourne in Australia.)
- Senior theses on the men who fought for respect during the early years of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the 1970s punk rock movement, and the influence of the American sitcom on the feminist movement
VIDEO: A peek inside Beck Krefting's class, "Disorderly Women.”
The eclectic nature of American Studies, indeed the liberal arts, lends itself to myriad professional opportunities, particularly jobs in education (from pre-K to colleges), nonprofits, media, government, the arts, law, and social work.
Careers: A sampler of what our alumni do
Graduate Schools: A sampler of where our alumni go (2010–2014)
- Boston College, M.B.A.
- Boston University, Ed.D.
- College of William and Mary, M.A. in American studies
- Columbia Law School, J.D.
- Columbia University, M.A. in English
- Drexel University, M.S. in library and information science
- Fordham University, M.S. in education
- George Washington University, M.A. in public health
- Middlebury College, M.A. in foreign languages and literatures
- New York University, M.A. in American studies
- Princeton University, Ph.D. in social work
- University of Dublin, Trinity College, M.A. in philosophy
- SUNY-Albany, M.A. in public history
- University of Kansas, Ph.D. in American studies
- University of Maryland, Ph.D. in American studies