College Catalog: 2011-2012

Salameno School of American and International Studies (SSAIS): American Studies (B.A.)

Four Year Plan
School of American and International Studies Website


About the Major

The American Studies major encourages exploration of the character of the United States as a unique multicultural mosaic functioning within an emerging global order. The program bridges many disciplines as it focuses on the various expressions of American society contained in its history, art, and literature. Through an analysis of its political and social development, students gain insights into the national dynamic; and through inquiry and debate students gain a perspective to evaluate the nation’s actions and beliefs.

Students majoring in American Studies receive a solid grounding in American culture in history to better understand its evolution; in political structure to better recognize the forces and instruments of change; in literature to experience American society from varied perspectives; and in the pluralism of our society, with particular attention to race, gender, and ethnicity. Course clusters and sequences exist in women’s studies, African American studies, international outlooks, and social pluralism. Students also encounter course work relating to each of the following themes: America’s role in the world, American regionalism, and American artistic expression. Inherent in the American Studies major is the recognition of the nation’s developing response to the challenges and opportunities of an ever-expanding global commitment.

It is apparent, therefore, that American Studies graduates, having gained appreciation and comprehension of the changing global context, will enjoy increasing career choices as the demand for Americanists grows. Additionally, the major’s liberal arts emphasis on thinking, analyzing, evaluating, and communicating provides excellent preparation for both career entry and graduate study. American Studies graduates find employment in a wide variety of fields, including education, communications, publishing, and historic preservation, as well as in museums and archives. Advanced degrees are most often pursued in law, business, museum studies and American studies.

The American Studies major leads to the B.A. degree, and is offered through the School of American and International Studies.

A minor is not available.

Requirements of the Major
  1. Students are required to take 12 courses (48 credits) to complete this major.
  2. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below. Waivers only apply to General Education Requirements NOT School Core or Major Requirements.
  3. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible. Check with your advisor to see if any apply. You may not double count between category requirements of the major.
  4. Writing Intensive Requirement: Three writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: First Year Seminar, Critical Reading and Writing (formerly College English), and Readings in Humanities.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.