American Studies Major

Course Description

The mission of the Humanities department is to provide students with scholarly and practical opportunities for learning about the discrete disciplines of Communications, Drama, English, the Fine Arts, History, and Philosophy. Students are also offered the opportunity to ground their undergraduate experience in an American Studies major, a History and Social Studies major, or a Liberal Studies major, as well as the Humanities Core curriculum courses. All Humanities courses seek to enact the general goal of the Humanities department to instill in the student the significance of and the means by which discrete disciplines within the Humanities interact not only with each other, but also with fields of study outside the traditional purview of the Humanities. Learning is done with a conscious awareness of how the study of the Humanities relates to a Christian worldview.

Major Competencies

  • Graduates will use appropriate concepts, methods, and materials to foster an integrative approach to learning about American culture and society, past and present.
  • Graduates will effectively synthesize knowledge about American culture and society from appropriate primary and secondary source material from multiple academic disciplines.
  • Graduates will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the American experience, particularly across the issues of class, ethnicity, gender, religion, and race.
  • Graduates will transform culture by engaging aesthetic urban contexts and communities.


Part 1: General Education Core
(See Core Studies Requirements)

Part 2 American Studies Major

32 credits (minimum): 15 credits in residence, 12 credits upper division. Required:

HIS 485 Historiography 3
HUM 391/392 Humanities Internship 2-14
OR ED 495 Student Teaching
27 credits from the following:
EC 201 Principles of Economics: Microeconomics 2
EN 245/345 Urban Literature 3
EN 325 Rogues and Rebels: Survey of Literature in English to 1815 3
OR EN 326 Romantics to Realists: Survey of Literature in English from 1815 to Present 3
OR COMM 450 Ethical Theory for Writing and Reading 3
HIS 206 Strangers Among Us: U.S. Immigration and Borderlands 3
HIS 207 The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: American Presidency 3
HIS 208 U.S. History Through Film 3
HIS 260 History of Religion in the U.S. 3
HIS 306 Seminar in U.S. History 3
HIS 340 Ethnic Relations in America 3
HIS 370 History of the American City 3
HIS 450 Colloquy in History 3
PS 140 Intro to Politics and American Govt. 3
PS 201 Intro to Law and the Constitution 2
PS 315 Governing States and Communities 3

What Can I do With this Degree?

American Studies majors often use their degree as a springboard into graduate school. Law, education, and history are a few of the options available for further study. Graduates will also be ready for employment in government, non-profit organizations, or business.