In the spring of 2020, the American Studies Program revised its requirements for the major and established a new minor. Students in the class of 2024 and beyond will follow the new requirements. Students in the class of 2023 are encouraged to follow the new requirements; others should determine the best path for them in consultation with their program advisors.

In the revised major, electives are used to cover the following areas relevant to American studies: pre-twentieth century; US in a global or transnational context; praxis (broadly defined as political or civic engagement, digital humanities, public humanities, creative writing, multimedia storytelling, or other relevant experience-based learning). Where appropriate, each elective can fulfill more than one of these required areas. Additionally, for both the major and minor, electives must include two courses focused on social justice, which investigate the ways that social inequities have been produced, maintained, and/or challenged. These courses often examine how power works—historically, spatially, and differentially—across axes of race, Indigeneity, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, and economic class. Students should consult the list of approved elective courses and their program advisors to determine which elective area a course might fulfill.

Another feature of the revised American Studies major is the development of a concentration and portfolio.

The following tables summarize the changes to the major and requirements for the new minor in American Studies. Students should also consult the checklists for the major and minor.




Requirements OLD AM major NEW AM major
American Studies Core AM171; AM393; 1 other AM course AM171; AM293 (Methods in American Studies); AM393
Area 1: American History 1 HI course in American history pre-1865; 1 HI course in American history post-1865
Area 2: American Literature/Visual Culture 1 EN course in American literature pre-1865; 1 EN course in American literature post-1865; 1 other course on American literature in translation, or American visual culture
Electives* 3 courses at the 200 level or above chosen from an approved list or in consultation with the program advisor 2 AM courses and 5 additional courses from the approved list, fulfilling the areas described above; at least 3 at 300 level or above; no more than 2 outside the program at 100 level
Concentration** Electives normally contribute to the student’s selected concentration
Senior Seminar AM493 AM493




Requirements AM minor
American Studies Core AM171; either AM293 (Methods in American Studies) or AM393
Electives* 5 courses from the approved list; 2 must fulfill the social justice area described above; at least 1 at 300 level or above; no more than 2 outside the program at 100 level