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American Studies

Program Description

The past decades have seen the growth of a variety of heated controversies about culture, history, and social structure in the United States. A number of factors have contributed to this development: the awareness that U.S. history is a creation of many different peoples and interests; the perception that social forms are the product of contest as well as consensus; the elaboration in different disciplines of new methods and perspectives for the study of U.S. society, culture, and history; and the realization that a changing global setting has a great deal to do with the changing characters and characteristics of different nations.

The aim of this major is to develop a multifaceted understanding of the societies of the United States and its hemispheric neighbors: their origins, their histories, their economic, social, and political institutions; their philosophies; their distinctive cultures; their global settings and connections; and their artistic and intellectual achievements. American Studies is an interdisciplinary major, offering students the opportunity to design an individualized course of study in a number of subject areas, thereby enabling them to obtain a broad knowledge of the cultures, histories, and societies of the Western hemisphere.

Program Requirements

Requirements for the Major in American Studies
American Studies majors are required to complete a minimum of 36 credits on the American experience:

Required (12 credits): American Studies 110 (with a minimum grade of B) and 9 additional credits in American Studies courses, including one 300-level course.

Electives (24 credits): 12 credits from the list of courses in one of the three Perspectives on American Experience (Artistic, Historical, and Social); and 6 credits from the list of courses in each of the other two Perspectives.

Requirements for the Minor in American Studies

The minor consists of 18 credits, of which 9 must be in American Studies courses and 9 in courses drawn from one of the Perspectives on American Experience. A cumulative 2.0 grade-point average must be maintained in these courses.


The Major Program

Students who plan to major in American Studies must have a minimum grade of B in American Studies 110.

Interested students should meet with the Director to plan their course of study as early as possible in their college careers. They should file their concentration form with the Director by their lower junior semester. American Studies 110 should be taken by majors as soon as possible and normally precedes courses taken in each of the three Perspectives on American Experience. Students must maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade-point average in courses applicable to the major.

Honors in American Studies will be granted to majors who maintain a cumulative 3.5 grade-point average in American Studies and write an honors essay approved by the Advisory Committee.

Perspectives on American Experience
As an interdisciplinary program, American Studies draws on the resources of other departments and programs in the college. The following list offers students a wide range of choices within which to satisfy the requirements for a major or minor in American Studies.

Perspectives on American Arts
ARTH 251, 252
DRAM 206
ENGL 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 393, 395
MUSIC 5, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241

Perspectives on American History
HIST 103, 104, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 331, 332
PHIL 147, 148

Perspectives on American Society

ANTH 207, 213, 214
ECON 214, 219, 223, 224, 242, 246
PSCI 100, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 229, 273, 381
SOC 103, 210, 211, 218
URBST 14, 107, 202, 251


 Office Information

Director: Kristin Celello
Dept. Office: Powdermaker Hall 352XX
Phone: 718-997-5358

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