American Studies is a concentration within the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, in which students investigate a subject from the viewpoints of several disciplines.  In taking an interdisciplinary approach, students acquire the knowledge and skills of a liberally educated person, while enjoying flexibility and an individualized approach to their education.

American Studies is based on the principles of American culture which are best understood as a whole and that literature and art should not be artificially disconnected from the history and society from which they arise.  Students blend work in American history and literature with an examination of how several other disciplines view American society and culture.


In addition to the requirements of the School of Arts and Sciences, majors must complete 36 credits.  Each student chooses American history or American literature as a primary interest and develops a substantial concentration, at least 18 credits, in the area, including a methodology course and a seminar or an independent study.  Student also do extensive work in a secondary area, usually three or four courses, and take related courses in at least two of the following areas:
  • Social Sciences (Economics, Political Science, Sociology)
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • the Arts(Art, Music, Communication Arts)

During senior year, each student is responsible for a final project of an interdisciplinary nature in some aspect of American Studies.