American Studies

In American Studies, you’ll embark on an interdisciplinary study of the themes, trends and patterns that characterize the American past and present. You’ll use multiple perspectives and methodologies, learn to synthesize knowledge and develop the critical thinking skills needed for rigorous, complex analysis. American Studies majors have the flexibility to define their own area of concentration, such as visual studies, cultural studies, race and ethnicity, legal and constitutional studies, the American environment, American capitalism or class and social structure.


Want to start right away? Here are some basic requirements for students wanting to major in American studies. Keep in mind this isn’t the complete list of formal requirement — that list can be found on the Courses of Study page.

As an American Studies major, you will take a total of 12 courses selected from the American Studies roster.

  • At least three of the twelve courses must have a substantial focus on material before 1900

  • At least two must deal with American diversity

  • At least one must be a 4000 level seminar, either an American Studies 4300 course or an appropriate substitute seminar at the 4000 level.

  • You’ll define your area of concentration and complete six courses in that area.

Sample classes

  • American Capitalism
  • Popular Culture in the United States, 1950 to the Present
  • Photography and the American Dream
  • U.S. Immigration Narratives


All information below is based on the 2022 First-Destination Post-Graduate Survey. Lists are not exhaustive, rather they are a sampling of the data. If you would like more information, please email

What can you do with a degree in American Studies? 

Graduate School:

In 2022, 25% of American studies students embarked on graduate school journeys. They pursued various advanced degrees, with 29% focusing on their JD, 21% working towards an MA, 21% dedicated to a PhD, and more. Their graduate field interest ranges from law (29%) to American studies (14%).

These ambitious individuals have chosen to continue their education at prestigious institutions like American University, Columbia University, Stanford University, and the University of California-Los Angeles.


66% of American studies graduates secured employment, and the majority entered sectors in education (16%) and communications/media (14%). Amazon and Teach for America were the top 2022 employers.

Where 2022 American Studies Graduates Work

Employer Job Titles
Amazon Product Marketing Specialist
Bloomberg Financial Product Analyst
CBS News Broadcast Associate
Morgan Stanley Human Resources Analyst
Politics and Prose Bookseller
Teach for America Corps Member