Academics

Requirements

American Studies Major Requirements for Those Students Who Declare after September 1, 2012:  

Students will be required to take 10 courses to complete the major, 7 must be American Studies courses and 4 must be at the upper-level (300 or 400 level). Note: Adding the latter numbers 4 and 7 do not imply 11 courses, since the two subcategory of courses can overlap.

Major Requirements:

A.    One required Introductory Course: AmSt 100, American Identities or AmSt 110G, U.S. Society and Culture Since 1945

B.   Two Discipline-based survey Courses:

  • AmSt 210, American Society and Culture, 1600-1860
  • AmSt 211, U.S. Society and Culture, 1860-1940.

C.   Two Methods-Intensive Courses, based on the following options:

  • AmSt 101  American Popular Culture
  • AmSt 201 Latinos in the US
  • AmSt 202, 203, 204, 205, 206 – Decades Courses
  • AmSt 215 America on Film
  • AmSt 250 U.S. Travel and Tourism
  • AmSt 278L U.S. Documentary Photography

D.    Four Electives: Students must take 4 electives (3 of which will have to be at the 300 level or above). A three-credit internship will be an available option for students as a 400 level elective, but it will not count for capstone credit.

E.    One Senior Capstone Course, based on the following options:

  • AmSt 402L American Visual Cultures
  • AmSt 405 The Immigrant Experience
  • AmSt 410 Cultural History of U.S. Media
  • AmSt 420 Special Topics
  • AmSt 435 Music and American Literature
  • AmSt 440 U.S. in Global Context
  • AmSt 436L The American Suburb
  • AmSt 471L The City in American Literature and Culture AmSt 471L The City in American Literature and Culture
  • AmSt 476L Current Issues in Native America

 

American Studies Minor Requirements for Those Students Who Declare after September 1, 2012: 

Students will be required to take six courses (18 credits) for the American Studies Minor, three of which must be at the upper-level, and four of which must be American Studies courses. Note: Adding the latter numbers 3 and 4 do not imply 7 courses, since the two subcategory of courses can overlap.

Minor Requirements:

A.  One of the following survey courses: AmSt 210, American Society and Culture, 1600-1860 or AmSt 211, U.S. Society and Culture, 1860-1940.

B.  One Methods-Intensive Course, based on the following options:

  • AmSt 101 American Popular Culture
  • AmSt 201 Latinos in the US
  • AmSt 202, 203, 204, 205, 206 – Decades Courses
  • AmSt 215 America on Film
  • AmSt 250 U.S. Travel and Tourism
  • AmSt 278L U.S. Documentary Photography

C.  One 400-level Capstone course taken in American Studies.

D.  Three Electives, one of which must be taken in American Studies, and two of which must be upper-level. Students can count one Independent Study (taken in American Studies) and one three-credit Internship toward their minor.

Students from other majors taking the American Studies Minor can double-count only one course across their major and their American Studies minor.

 

 

American Studies Major Requirements for Those Students Who Declared before September 1, 2012:  

The American Studies major requires ten courses (30 credits). Five courses must be 300 level or higher and six must be American Studies courses. The rest can be chosen from some 150 related courses offered by other Liberal Arts departments and programs. Students can take up to two Independent Studies for their major. For students undertaking a double major, two related courses from their other major can be counted toward the American Studies major.

A. Introductory Course: AmSt 100, American Identities or AmSt G110, U.S. Since 1945

B. Two discipline-based survey courses: AmSt 210, American Dreams/American Realities, or Hist 165, American History I and Hist 166 American History II. (We recommend students take these two courses before they enroll in their upper-division courses.)

C. Three Modes of Analyses Courses from the following four areas:

  • Historical analysis: AmStudies decades courses: 202, 203, 204, 205, 206; AmSt G212 U.S. in the 1980s; AmSt 210 American Dreams/American Realities; AmSt G240 War in American Culture; AmSt L311, American Oral History; Anth 240, Historical Archeology
  • Ethnographic analysis: AmSt L270, North American Indians; AmSt L301, Childhood in America; AmSt L373, Men’s Lives in the US; Anth 348 Ethnographic Inquiry: Introduction to Qualitative Field Research
  • Literary analysis: Eng 200, Literary Studies I; Eng G262 Literature as Art; Eng 320, Autobiography; Eng 325, Narrative in the Novel and Film; Eng 300 Literary Studies II; Anth 368, Myth in Cultural Context
  • Media analysis: AmSt 101, American Popular Culture; Amst 215, America on Film; Amst 235, Social History of Popular Music; Amst 310, T.V. In American Life; AmSt L349, Cold War: Rise and Fall; Art 265, Film Analysis; ComStu 250 Analyzing Media; WoSt 220, Women and the Media

D. Three electives
In order to provide greater depth in one area of the study of U.S. society and culture, we encourage students to focus three of their elective courses within the major in one of the following areas. These areas represent the major categories of study that define the field of American Studies: Literature and History, Media/Popular Culture Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Race and Ethnicity (Asian American, African American, Latino, or Native American Studies), U.S. in Global Context

E. One senior capstone course
The capstone requirement is intended to serve as the culminating experience of students’ work in the major. It provides the opportunity for students to integrate the methods of analysis they have learned in American Studies and apply them in the writing of a substantial research paper or in a professional work environment. Students should choose the capstone experience that is most appropriate for their post-graduate plans: an internship if they intend to enter the work force after graduation; a research seminar if they intend continued study in a graduate program. The Department of American Studies works with the Office of Internships to help students locate appropriate internships in community agencies, the media, museums, and historic archives.

Pre-requisites for the capstone are junior-level standing and three American Studies courses.

  • A 400-Level Research Seminar is recommended for students who are interested in teaching and graduate study. An alternative is an Independent Study (AMST 478,479) that will lead to a research-based paper or project, under the sponsorship of an advisor. The Communication Studies capstone course, ComStu 480 and the Asian American studies capstone course, L423, Boston’s Asian American Communities, both count toward the American Studies capstone course requirement. Women’s Studies, History, and Environmental Studies also offer research seminars that often are appropriate alternatives for students who are doing a major or a minor in these fields. Check with the Department of American Studies director if you are interested in these alternatives.
     
  • A Supervised three to six credit internship is recommended for students entering the workforce directly (AmSt 490, 491). Students should select an internship the semester before they wish to do one, in consultation with an American Studies faculty advisor. During the semester when doing the Internship, students must meet bi-weekly with their academic advisor. Students are graded for the Internship by their academic advisor, based on the reports of their work supervisor and their academic advisor’s assessment of the work they have produced during the term. See office administrative assistant for guidelines.
     
  • A three-credit internship requires an on-going journal of work experiences, a self-evaluation by the student of his/her work and workplace, based on the student’s experiences, appropriate readings, and a short paper based on a topic related to his/her work experience.
     
  • A six-credit internship is recommended for students engaged in a long-term (two semester) work project. Their project must result in a substantial piece of applied research; e.g., a video or oral history project, or community action plan that examines a community issue or problem in depth, and that makes recommendations for a solution. Some students might fulfill this option by participating in the on-going research of the various on-campus Institutes: The William Joiner Center, The Mauricio Gaston Institute, McCormack Institute, and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.

Where Have American Studies Students Done Internships?

American Studies students have done internships at the following places: Channels 2 (American Experience) and 56, the Boston Globe, the John F. Kennedy Library, the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office, the Commonwealth Museum, the Lexington Historical Society, the South End Press, the South Boston Action Center, the Massachusetts Office for Refugees, and the Pitney Bowes Company.

Credits for the Double Major

Students who are doing a double major can count two related courses from their other major toward their American Studies major, including cross-listed (designated with an “L”) courses.



American Studies Minor Requirements for Those Students Who Declared before September 1, 2012:  

Six courses (18 credits), three of which must be at the upper level, and three of which must be American Studies courses

  • One of the following discipline-based survey courses: AMST 210, American Dreams/ American Realities or Hist 165, American History I.
     
  • One 300-Level and one 400-Level Capstone course.
     
  • Students can count one Independent Study and one three-credit Internship toward their minor.

We recommend that students take three of their courses in one of the following focus areas in order to add greater depth to their minor: literature and history; media/popular culture studies; gender and sexuality; race and ethnicity; the U.S. in global context. Students can count two related courses from their major toward their American Studies minor.