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Convening Group: American Studies

For over forty years, the American Studies Major Group at Ramapo has encouraged exploration of U.S. society as a unique multicultural and transnational mosaic functioning within an emerging global order. The program uses interdisciplinary methods to focus on the various cultural expressions of American life and history. 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 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, sexuality, and ethnicity. Course sequences exist in women’s and gender studies, African American studies, Latino/a and Latin American Studies, and communication arts. Students also encounter coursework 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.

American Studies graduates, having gained appreciation and comprehension of the dynamic changes the United States has experienced nationally as well as globally, will enjoy increasing career choices where demand for critical thinking and a broad background in research and writing 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, political organizations, publishing, and preservation studies, as well as in museums and archives. Advanced degrees are most often pursued in law, education, business, museum studies and American studies.