American Studies, BA
The BA in American Studies is an interdisciplinary and individualized degree in the social and cultural analysis of the United States and its borderlands. Through their coursework and independent projects, majors learn to exercise the freedom to develop their own areas of expertise and pursue answers to their own questions about American ideals and contradictions. This self-directed, “do-it-yourself” major equips students with strong analytical and rhetorical skills, the ability to integrate knowledge about diverse fields and subjects, and the capacity for civic and community engagement that signifies leadership in a variety of professional fields, not limited to: politics/government, economics, social work, education, journalism, business, psychology/counseling, law, digital and print media, non-profit work, theater, the arts, and activism.
American Studies majors choose one of the concentrations below, and then customize their degree with elective courses selected from a designated list, updated every semester, of offerings across the university. The American Studies program therefore connects you to a broad network of faculty and departments, making it easy to double major and to complete one or more minors, and it features personalized academic advising by the director of the program.
A Degree Tailored to Your Passion
Cultural Studies Concentration
Students create their own interdisciplinary path through any or all of the following areas: American Arts, American Publics, and Transnational America.
Critical Race & Ethnicity Studies Concentration
Students design an education that strengthens their antiracist analysis, appreciation of global cultural and ethnic diversity, and capacity to lead much-needed conversations about racial justice and social change.
Students choose coursework that prepares them with a multifaceted understanding of the law and its relationship to justice from the perspective of arts and culture, business and technology, and the social sciences—a unique preparation for law school and political work.
American Studies Minor
For students of any major as well as international students, this minor provides a cultural studies framework for understanding U.S. national ideals as well as contradictions through elective coursework in the areas of American Arts and/or American Publics, explained below.
Classes in the American Arts encourage students to explore creative, aesthetic, and expressive forms of place-based knowledge in the U.S. and its borderlands. Choose from elective courses such as Architectural History of NYC; Literature & Culture of Puerto Rico; Queer Cinema; and more options in Anthropology, Art, Film, Literature, Modern Languages & Cultures: Spanish, and Performing Arts.
Classes about American Publics encourage students to analyze the role of political institutions, social structures, and collective cultural practices in generating knowledge about national identity. Choose from elective courses such as Native & Indigenous Peoples Studies; Citizen Journalism; Sports Economics; and more options in Communications, Criminal Justice, Economics, Environmental Science, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s & Gender Studies.
Critical Race & Ethnicity Studies Minor
Designed to enrich and to be compatible with any major, the CRES minor provides a comparative framework for understanding racial and ethnic identities through elective coursework in the areas of American Arts, American Publics, and/or Transnational America.
- This major has prepared graduates for rewarding careers with a variety of employers such as:
- Oxford University Press
- Penguin Group
- Super Duper Records
- Levine Greenberg Literary Agency
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- The ASCAP Foundation
- Bar/None Records
- Departure Films
- Firefly Theater Works
- IBE Consulting Engineers
- Loaded Rock Shows
- Niche Street
- The Fashion List
- The Friedrich Agency
- Warner Music Group
- Battery Park Authority
- Direct Agents Digital Advertising
Full-time jobs secured by recent American Studies graduates include:
- Editorial Assistant, Oxford University Press
- Foreign Rights Manager, The Friedrich Agency
- Development Assistant, Committee to Protect Journalists
- ESL Instructor, Kaplan International
- Legal Assistant, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP
- Marketing Coordinator, Mediaocean Advertising