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American Studies

College of Liberal Arts

Pete the Prospector Statue

American Studies - Programs

Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (code AMSTBA01) (120 units)

Students desiring information should contact the department office for referral to a faculty advisor.

American Studies is an interdisciplinary study of American culture. The American Studies Program offers a major leading to the bachelor’s degree, a minor, and a Liberal Studies concentration. The program also offers a variety of general education and interdisciplinary courses. Most students majoring or minoring in American Studies are interested in both (1) studying American culture as a whole from several disciplinary perspectives and (2) studying in depth a problem or theme according to individual choice. Reflecting these two interests, the major consists of a 5-course core sequence and a 5-course elective pattern that centers on one theme or problem.

The American Studies Program is governed by a committee of faculty from various departments and schools who also serve as advisors. Students majoring in American Studies confer with advisors to plan their programs, which are recorded on official advising forms.

In addition to providing a broad liberal education focusing on American culture, traditions and institutions, the major in American Studies offers a useful background for careers in law, journalism, public service, government, business and teaching. The program also provides the foundation for graduate work in American Studies and related fields.

In preparation for the upper division major in American Studies, students are expected to have completed lower division courses appropriate as background to the study of American culture. Students planning to major in American Studies should consult the program director or one of the above-named faculty advisors early in their academic careers for general education and preparatory course recommendations and for teaching credential information.


A minimum of 33 units distributed as follows:
Core courses: AMST 300; HIST 477A,B; ENGL 270A,B.

Elective pattern: The student chooses one of the following topics or themes and plans with an advisor (who will have an up-to-date master list of appropriate courses) an elective pattern of a five-course sequence with no more than two courses coming from any one academic department: (A) American Institutions; (B) American People; (C) Women in America; (D) American Environment; (E) Arts and Communication in America; (F) American Mind; (G) Student-Designed Pattern. In place of one of the above topics or themes, the American Studies major, with the approval of the advisor and the program director, may design a sequence of courses focusing on a topic, theme, or problem in which he or she is particularly interested.

Minor in American Studies (code AMSTUM01)

Minimum of 18 units, including AMST 300 and HIST 477A,B and 9 or more units chosen in consultation with faculty advisor.