Bachelor of Arts
A program is offered in American studies that leads to the bachelor of arts degree.
American studies is an interdisciplinary program that studies the history, literature, culture, and institutions that make up the American experience. This interdisciplinary character is exhibited in two ways: (1) students take their 12 hours of mandated American studies electives from among a wide variety of courses offered by the College in the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts; (2) students also take 12 hours of special American studies seminars in their junior and senior years. These seminars are organized around specific topics in the American experience. They give the concentration its special strength and character.
American studies allows individuals to design their programs according to their own needs and interests. Each major works closely with an advisor to develop a course of studies that will be most individually beneficial. It is possible, therefore, to concentrate one’s American studies electives within a single traditional discipline. It is also possible to effect a new synthesis by carefully choosing from among the more than 80 courses designed as American studies electives. A list of designated electives is posted by the director of the program before registration each semester.
American studies provides its graduates with a good deal of flexibility. It is important to remember in this period of intense pressure toward narrow vocationalism that the life of the mind is best served by fully developing the powers of analysis, responsiveness, expression, and computation. The program is designed to provide a solid background for students interested in professional studies such as law, administration, or teaching; for M.B.A. programs (most of which prefer non-business majors); for graduate work in American studies itself, or in one of its constituent fields; for government, journalism, civil service, or communications.
A major in American studies requires 30 credits: six credits in U.S. history, taken in the freshman or sophomore year; 12 credits of American studies electives, taken in the junior and senior years from among the more than 80 designated courses; 12 credits in the junior-senior seminars.