The American Studies Department offers students two distinct but interconnected undergraduate majors and a graduate degree offering that develop an enhanced understanding of the meanings of citizenship and foster a critical understanding of events and issues defining the nation in the past and present.
Course offerings develop an awareness of how Americans have shaped the world around them: their economic, political and institutional structures, the social movements that redefine citizenship, and the different forms of media and popular culture that express Americans’ desires, political demands, social commitments, and economic goals. Our courses uphold a social justice tradition through inclusive, participatory pedagogy, with an emphasis on writing, production, and presentation, in which students are actively involved and analyze their roles in the world around them.
American Studies majors receive a thorough foundation in critical thinking and writing, while developing an awareness of the importance of media and popular culture in American society, suitable for students seeking careers in the law, elementary or high school education, public administration, librarianship, museum administration, non-profit management, government service, social work, organizing, as well as academic positions in history, American Studies, and the social sciences. Media majors learn to interpret social, political, legal, cultural, and economic structures, while gaining skills in producing expressive and investigative works towards their professional and civic development. The degree provides flexible, liberal arts training for aspiring U.S. media professionals, those seeking careers as journalists, critics, broadcasters, public relations specialists, documentarians, and other media producers.