American Studies constitutes a multidisciplinary program for the exploration of the past, present, and future of the United States. It brings together faculty and students from a variety of disciplines to compare and to exchange knowledge about the American experience. The program offers a rich, rigorous approach combining intellectual insights from literature, history, sociology, political science, and other social sciences and humanities. Rather than limiting majors to a single department's offerings, the program allows students the freedom to complete courses in a variety of traditional disciplines.
Majors develop critical thinking skills that allow them not only to pursue rewarding careers but also to act as responsible citizens of the 21st Century. By fostering a diverse and dynamic academic journey that reaches across disciplinary boundaries into a wide range of perspectives on the American experience, the Program encourages its students to develop intellectual resources that will sustain them in a wide variety of careers and avocations. Students may continue their study through graduate work in American Studies or pursue careers in law, business, teaching and museum fields. An American Studies degree is particularly appropriate for students planning careers in law, communication, government, social work and journalism.
Because the United States is a nation held together by different and often conflicting stories of nationhood, the American Studies major is designed to create dialogue about the multiple ways in which these stories are told. The American Studies major demands that students develop and refine their own theories and assumptions through reflective practices on the contested meaning of America's stories. It describes the stories of America in different modes - written and electronic, verbal and nonverbal, visual and auditory. Most of all, it promotes an understanding of the American experience using the approaches and methods of a variety of disciplines.
The Bachelor of Arts in American Studies degree is available at the following locations: