Students choose from among the following five concentrations: Popular Culture and Media Studies; Social and Literary Movements; Politics, Institutions and Values; Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies; and Material Culture and the Built Environment. Students are required to take six courses within the concentration. Throughout the concentration courses, students are required to maintain a “portfolio” which combines reflections on the courses with collections of course materials (syllabi, completed written course work, collections of visuals, e.g., photo essays— whatever is appropriate to the six courses chosen for the concentration). The reflections on each course and then on the concentration overall should include responses to questions such as “What were the course’s most valuable lessons in research, analysis, writing and communication? How did this course, taken together with the other courses you have chosen for your concentration, influence/develop your understanding of the area of American culture on which you are focusing?” Students turn in their portfolio on the concentration, along with a proposal for the senior seminar project, in the first weeks of the senior seminar. Specific directions for the portfolio can be obtained from your American Studies advisor, from the American Studies Program office, or from the American Studies Program Directors.
Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.