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The Department of American Studies


Major Requirements





The American Studies major leading to a B.A. degree consists of 39 credits, including 18 credits of American Studies core courses, 18 credits of course work distributed across 3 core themes, and 3 credits of applied experience (internship, student teaching, service learning, applied/action research).   A minor program is available for students majoring in other fields who wish to complete a concentration in American Studies.   All courses applicable to the major or minor must carry a grade of C or above.  Students seeking to substitute courses other than those listed in the requirements for the Core Themes must provide a written rationale and receive approval from the department; such exceptions shall not constitute more than 6 credits. 


AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR/EDUCATION CERTIFICATIONThere is a dual major/certificate program for students seeking teaching certification in early childhood, elementary, and secondary education.  Students in this program whose certification requirements include supplementary courses in social sciences or history may substitute 9 credits of those courses for 9 credits of the core themes.  Students making this substitution must select one course exploring each theme from the lists below for the remaining 9 credits in the core themes.  Students seeking education certification may count student teaching as their applied experience. 


American Studies Foundational Core (18 credits)

The American Studies Core provides a foundation in the key research and writing practices of the discipline.  Two lower-level courses introduce students to fundamental American Studies concepts.  Students build knowledge and engage in professional writing and research practices in an upper-level gateway course, two advanced seminars, and a capstone research seminar.


AMST  100 Introduction to American Studies

              AMST 200  Multicultural America

              AMST 300  Approaches in American Studies

              Two 400-level seminars                         

              AMST 490 Senior Seminar      


Core Themes.  Six upper-level credits in each of the core themes listed below, for a total of 18 credits. Students select two courses exploring each theme from the following lists:     


A  U.S. Social Structures:  American Regions, Institutions, and Communities.  Courses in this category focus on particular institutional structures and practices that shape and are shaped by the experiences of individuals and social groups in American society.


              AMST 310 Gender and Inequality in U.S. Society

              AMST 320 Television in American Culture

              AMST 321 Radio in American Culture

              AMST 327 Sports and Media

              AMST 350 Critical Decades

              AMST 356 Special topics in U.S. Social Structures

              AMST 380 Community in America     

              AMST 382 Perspectives on the Family

              AMST 384 Perspectives on Childhood

              AMST 388 American Environments   

              AMST 392 Studies in U.S. Society

              AMST 410 Seminar U.S. Social Structures

              AMST 422 Preserving Places, Making Spaces in Baltimore

              AMST 424 Theories of Space and Place

              AMST 480 Community Research Seminar      


B.     Global America:  The U.S. in the World, The World in the U.S.  Courses in this category explore the relationships of America with other countries and cultures, including globalization, migrations, immigration, diasporic experiences in America, and transnational cultures.


              AMST 303 Ethnography in America

              AMST 324 The Road Movie in America and Abroad

              AMST 352 American Culture in Global Perspective

              AMST 357 Special Topics in Global America

              AMST 372 American Food

              AMST 375 Studies in Asian American Culture

              AMST 430 Seminar in Global America

              AMST 460 Black Hair and Body Politics

              AMST 474 Theorizing Identity in Contemporary American Culture



C. American Signs:  U.S. Literary, Visual, and Material Culture.  Courses in this category provide interdisciplinary analysis of oral, written, visual, and material representations of American life and culture and the historical and social contexts in which they are produced and consumed.


              AMST 322 American Culture in Film

              AMST 323 Baltimore in Film

              AMST 325 Popular Culture

              AMST 344 Made in America

              AMST 358 Special topics in American Signs

              AMST 374 Things to Come: Perspectives on the Future

              AMST 391 Studies in American Culture

              AMST 420 Seminar in American Signs

              AMST 464 Immigration Nation:  Examining Narratives of Immigration to the


              AMST 466 Seminar in Media Literacy

              AMST 476 Theories of Media and Culture


Applied Experience (3 credits: P/F or Regular Credit) includes internships, service learning, undergraduate research, student teacher praxis, and AMST courses designed as applied research. Students in dual programs may fulfill this requirement by taking an approved applied experience course in the second department. 





The American Studies minor consists of 18 credits, 6 credits in the American Studies Core, and 12 credits of upper-level courses selected by the student in consultation with his advisor.  



AMST 100

AMST 200

4 additional upper-level AMST courses


Further information and assistance is available from the American Studies Department, FA 453, (410-455-2106) and Dr. Kathy Bryan, FA 460, (410-455-1351;











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The Department of American Studies

1000 Hilltop Circle • 453 Fine Arts Building • Baltimore, Maryland 21250
(410) 455-2106 • (410) 455-1027 fax