American Studies- Bachelor of Arts

For more information, contact the Director of American Studies, 120 McMillan Hall, 513-529-5333.

The Program in American Studies offers an interdisciplinary major that explores American culture, in all its complexity, from a variety of perspectives. In learning to make connections between a range of fields and disciplines from history to art, politics to religious studies, mass media to popular culture, among many others, students gain a multifaceted understanding of the United States in global context. The program fosters flexible thinking, creative problem solving skills, synthetic analysis, strong writing and oral presentation, an understanding of and familiarity with multiple kinds of media and texts, a broad understanding of social, cultural, and historical contexts, and intercultural awareness. By working with faculty to define an area of concentration, students come away with the intellectual skills and perspective necessary to understand, contextualize, and critically engage the opportunities and challenges of our complex, changing, interdependent world.

Program Requirements

(34 semester hours)

Core course
AMS 205Introduction to American Cultures3
or AMS 207 America: Global and Intercultural Perspectives
AMS 206Approaches to American Culture3
Select three courses from the following:9
American Identities
Immigrant America
Consumer Culture
American Icons
Special Topics in American Studies
The third 300-level course can be one of the courses above OR it can be a 300-level course cross-listed with AMS, subject to approval by the CDA.
Capstone course:
AMS 401Senior Capstone in American Studies4
Area of Concentration
Select an area of concentration15
Total Credit Hours34

Areas of Concentration (15 hours)

Students must take 15 credit hours with at least 12 hours at the 200 level and above, incorporating at least three different disciplines from one of the areas of concentration shown below. A comprehensive list of courses in each of these areas is posted on the AMS website and is also available in pamphlet form at the Programs Office.

American Institutions, Ideas, and Experiences: This area of concentration focuses on the core institutions, ideas, and expressions that define America as a nation.

Diversity and Difference: This area of concentration focuses on intercultural awareness and the diversity of cultures that come together in the United States, addressing issues of race, gender, class, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, transnational identity, and other social categories.

Global Perspectives on American Culture: (developed in consultation with an advisor) This area focuses on global perceptions and analysis of American culture and values, and on the position of the United States in the global world. AMS 207 is a prerequisite for this concentration and will count toward the 15 hours in concentration requirements. The rest of the credits will be taken from AMS courses at our partner universities.

Popular Culture, Media, Consumerism: This area of concentration focuses on consumer culture, popular culture, and mass media, examining the origins, meanings, and practices of the modern market place.

Public Culture and Civic Engagement: This area of concentration focuses on the practices and activities of civic engagement, the construction of shared identity and public memory, and the interpretation, presentation, and preservation of cultural resources.

Student Designed Area of Concentration: (developed in consultation with an advisor) This area of concentration allows a student to work with a faculty advisor to develop an individualized area of concentration in American culture. The proposed concentration needs to be approved by the director of the American Studies Program before course work is initiated.

Note: Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in American Studies meet the College of Arts and Science writing in the major requirement by completing the following course: AMS 206.