American Studies is an interdisciplinary liberal arts program. Courses in the program examine the history and culture of the United States, social and economic structure, forms of cultural expression, and political and legal institutions. These courses integrate history, sociology, literature, and media studies and are designed to encourage the development of critical thinking, debate and clear expository writing. American Studies courses emphasize the diversity of American Society and the experiences of ordinary life, paying particular attention to ethnic, gender, and other forms of social inequality. Courses examine institutions of power and control and the ways people attempt to change society.
Work in the program is designed to combine a liberal arts education with career preparation. The program also offers students the ability to develop a field of study in the following areas: U.S. History and Society, Media Studies, African American History and Culture and Women’s Studies.
Through its internship program, the major provides students with broad, flexible training appropriate to a wide array of jobs. The interdisciplinary course of study offered in the major provides useful preparation for graduate school and careers in education, media, law, government, and social work. The department expects that students, regardless of their career goals, will graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary to take constructive action for social change in their communities and workplaces, nation and the world.