Minor in American Studies

American Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of American culture and society that draws upon courses from departments and programs in the humanities and social sciences. American Studies majors are prepared for a number of different career paths that value interdisciplinary knowledge, critical and creative thinking, and writing skills.

American Studies Mission Statement

The purpose of the American Studies major and minor is to study the unity and diversity, the consensus and conflict, the continuity and change, that characterize the many cultures and social structures of past and present United States. Building on a core that introduces major disciplinary perspectives in American Studies, students draw upon courses from throughout the University to create an elective program that will both further an understanding of the United States as a whole and allow them to pursue their specific areas of interests.

Overhead view of student at computer

Upon completing the American Studies minor, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of and facility with research methods and analytical skills from several disciplines, including history, geography, humanities, and cultural studies;
  • Integrate disciplinary methods and perspectives to explore significant questions about American society, culture, and history;
  • Articulate the relationships between regional, ethnic, racial, or subcultural  histories, peoples, experiences or conditions and larger, national narratives, events and trends.

Note: The core requirements of the American Studies major and minor changed in Spring 2018. Those who declared the major/minor before then can use either the old or the new program requirements.

Requirements for the Minor in American Studies (18 units) (Beginning Fall 2018)

Core (12 units)

  • AMST 200 Introduction to American Studies
  • AMST 300GW Junior Seminar in American Studies
  • Choose one: AMST 310/HUM 485 Arts and American Culture or HUM 490 American Images
  • AMST 410/HUM 450 California Culture

Electives (6 units)

Students choose 6 additional units that focus on a topic or question developed by the student on advisement with the American Studies coordinator. Courses must be upper division and drawn from at least two different disciplines.