The honors program offers an additional opportunity for in-depth study. As an honors student, you will work closely with faculty in a 2-semester, 6-credit course sequence of study that leads to a B.A. with Departmental Honors in American Studies.
In the first semester, honors students enroll in AMST 495 Honors Seminar in American Studies. The seminar blends original research with close reading of faculty work. Students formulate an original research proposal, including a literature review and methodology statement during 495. Since the class is quite small, this seminar provides a wonderful opportunity to work closely, yet informally, with both faculty and other honors students.
In the second semester, honors students enroll in AMST 496 Honors Research. While continuing to discuss research techniques with the faculty, students complete an independent research project, working closely with an AMST faculty advisor, and sharing their progress with the other honors participants.
Students undertaking the honors sequence are encouraged to present their research at Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) during the spring semester.
To be admitted to the honors seminar you must be recommended by an AMST faculty member. Generally, you should have a 3.5 GPA in your AMST courses and should have completed AMST 100 and 290. However, a different mix of qualifications may also be acceptable under certain circumstances. See Dr. Ed Orser for further information, or ask any full-time faculty member for an application form.
The American Studies Department encourages its majors to consider an internship because of its commitment to exploring the intersection between academic analysis and participatory experience. Experiential education provides the opportunity to apply critical concepts to situations outside the classroom; in turn, the internship supplies new questions and hypotheses to bring back to the classroom. The accompanying requirement of a rigorous seminar or tutorial provides an intellectual framework for examining the project and gaining perspective on an aspect of American culture. The internship program helps to prepare students for careers utilizing their major by allowing them to work in appropriate settings, make contacts, explore further career avenues, and add to their professional resumes.
American Studies Department’s Internship Coordinator
Nicole King firstname.lastname@example.org
All internships have three basic requirements:
There are two alternatives for American Studies majors interested in internships:
AMST 404: Internship (3 credits)
For students interested in an introductory internship experience, AMST 404 provides a flexible option. Students meet individually with the internship coordinator to discuss their experiences and plan the final project.
AMST 406: Internship Seminar (4 credits)
Fore the seminar students will meet regularly with the internship coordinator and other internship students in the classroom. AMST 406 provides an intellectual framework for the internship and requires readings and small assignments in addition to the final project. During the seminar, students work together to reflect on the connections between theory and practice.
Students must secure their own internships and email the department’s internship coordinator with a description of the internship, duties and task, and contact information of supervision.
Internships undertaken by previous American Students include:
Consult with Nicole King (email@example.com), the department’s internship coordinator, well in advance of the semester of the internship so that you may determine the appropriate options and find the internship project best suited to your needs.
NOTE: All internships are taken with the Pass/Fail grading option, and therefore cannot be used toward the core or the emphasis area.
The American Studies Council of Majors is a student organization that enhances the student's intellectual and personal involvement with both the American Studies Department and the campus community through a number of educational and peer-group support activities. The Council works with the AMST faculty to sponsor special events throughout the year, such as panels of alumni in particular careers, assistance with applying to graduate school, films, and social events. The Council also acts as a liaison between the faculty and the majors, providing a vehicle for student participation in decisions that affect the department. The Council is open to all American Studies majors and UMBC students, and can be contacted through its mailbox in the American Studies office, FA 453 or by emailing the faculty advisor Nicole King firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduating seniors are honored each year at UMBC's Student Recognition Day. The American Studies Department confers the Outstanding Achievement in American Studies Award to students who have demonstrated superior academic performance and significant contributions to school and community. The Joe Tobesman Award recognizes students who exemplify life-long learner Joe Tobesman's enthusiams for learning, generosity of spirit, and contribution to the lives of others. The department also annually selects a major with one or more semesters of study to receive the UMBC Alumni Association's Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award.
The AMST Department encourages majors to consider the cross-cultural experiences to be gained by University study abroad. In recent years students have engaged in exchange semesters with such British universities as the University of Wales at Swansea, the University of Wolverhampton, near Birmingham, and DeMontfort University in Leicester, and students from those universities have studied American Studies at UMBC. In developing exchange possibilities, the department cooperates closely with UMBC's Office of International Education.
The Jim Arnquist Fund has been established to assist in the transportation costs of UMBC students participating in the AMST international exchange program.
UMBC's Office of Undergraduate Education encourages undergraduate research and offers several resources to assist students who wish to pursue research efforts at the undergraduate level.
Learn more about Undergraduate Research Opportunities such as funding, presenting and publishing your work.