American Studies Concentration Requirements

A concentration in American Studies requires the completion of 10 courses, approved by the program, with a grade of C or higher in each course. To complete this concentration, students must fulfill the following requirements:

Core Courses
Beginning in their sophomore year, concentrators must take, in sequence, two courses: CAS AM 200 and an AM course at the 200-level or above. These courses acquaint students with the critical problems and methods of American studies. They stress the analysis of key configurations of ideas, values, and institutions that define specific periods of the American past and present and find expression in folklore, art, material culture, literature, politics, and mass media.

Disciplinary Courses
Students concentrating in American Studies (AM) must take a total of seven CAS courses in addition to the core courses. Five of these courses must be taken in AM or within no more than two affiliated disciplines. Affiliated disciplines include African American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Economics, English, Geography, History, History of Art and Architecture, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, and Women’s Studies. These courses must deal with aspects of the American experience and must be chosen in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Two additional courses must be taken that explore the literature, culture, art, history, or politics of a single non-American society. Students are urged to fulfill this last requirement in conjunction with their work in a foreign language and its literature. For example, a student passing his or her CAS language requirement in French would be encouraged to take additional courses in French literature, art, or history.

Senior Project
Concentrators complete their program of study by undertaking a one- or two-semester senior project. The senior project may take the form of a research seminar (CAS AM 501 or AM 502) or an individual directed study leading to a senior thesis based on original research or criticism (CAS AM 491 or AM 492). In lieu of a senior project, seniors may undertake two semesters of distinction work (CAS AM 401, AM 402), which must be evaluated by a faculty committee.