Course Requirements

Prerequisites

At least one course in U.S. History (AMS 200 or one course from the HST 181/HST 182/HST 183 sequence) is a prerequisite to the core courses in the American Studies Program. Submission of AP U.S. History credit or SAT II U.S. History scores of 650 or higher will satisfy this requirement. In some cases, students will be allowed to enroll in U.S. History and AMS 211, 213 or 215 concurrently. Students are encouraged to take more than one course in U.S. History and to take U.S. History in the fall quarter as soon as they decide on an American Studies major.

Core Courses

The three-course sequence AMS 211, 213, and 215 forms the foundation of the program and should be completed in the sophomore or junior year, ideally in order. Seniors should plan to take the capstone seminar course, AMS 301, in the fall of their senior year. If necessary, AMS 215 may be taken at the same time as AMS 301.

Major Electives and Distribution Requirements

In consultation with an advisor, students will select three additional courses from outside of the concentration. For the concentration and the electives, no more than three courses for the major should be from any one department outside of AMS. 

Senior Seminar

During the fall quarter of their senior year, students should take AMS 301 capstone, the Senior Seminar. Over the summer, students must prepare their Senior Seminar Packet, composed of a 5-7 page reflection on their intellectual development in the major, a writing sample of their best work, and a list of preliminary topics for their Senior Seminar paper. Students will be sent instructions on how to prepare this packet by the Autumn Quarter instructor for the Senior Seminar.

Concentration Requirements​

Students must also complete the requirements from one of the following concentrations: Popular Culture and Media Studies; Social and Literary Movements; Politics, Institutions and Values; Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies; or Material Culture and the Built Environment.

AMS 211

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE I: EARLY AMERICA TO 1860

The first of the three-course sequence that forms the American Studies core. Like all the courses in the sequence, it focuses on how to do American Studies by using a variety of materials and projects that center on a particular historical period (in this case, early America before the Civil War). The course utilizes multiple methodologies, primary sources, a range of texts, and material and visual culture to examine the competing themes and diverse voices that form American experience during the era. Formerly AMS 201.
Prerequisites:
AMS 200 or HST 180 or HST 181 or HST 182 is a prerequisite for this class.

AMS 213

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE II: FROM 1860 TO 1941

The second of the three-course sequence that forms the American Studies core. Like all the courses in the sequence, it focuses on how to do American Studies by using a variety of materials and projects that center on a particular historical period (in this case, from the Civil war to just before World War II). The course utilizes multiple methodologies, primary sources, a range of texts, and material and visual culture to examine the competing themes and diverse voices that form American experience during the era.
Prerequisites:
AMS 200 or HST 181 or HST 182 or HST 183 is a prerequisite for this class.

AMS 215

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE III :FROM 1941 TO PRESENT

The third of the three-course sequence that forms the American Studies core. Like all the courses in the sequence, it focuses on how to do American Studies by using a variety of materials and projects that center on a particular historical period (in this case, World War II to the Present). The course utilizes multiple methodologies, primary sources, a range of texts, and material and visual culture to examine the competing themes and diverse voices that form American experience during the era. Formerly AMS 202.
Prerequisites:
AMS 200 or HST 181 or HST 182 or HST 183 is a prerequisite for this class.

AMS 301

SENIOR SEMINAR

The Senior Seminar is an integrative, course conducted primarily as a colloquium. Emphasis will be placed on discussion and independent research and writing.
Prerequisites:
AMS 211, AMS 213 and AMS 215 are a prerequisite for this class.

AMS 200

INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN SOCIAL HISTORY AND CULTURE

This course will provide an overview of American History designed to provide a one-quarter overview of American history and culture. It will provide an overview of the central themes of American History from the colonial period to the present with a focus on social, popular, and cultural history.

HST 181

UNITED STATES TO 1800 (FORMERLY HST 280)

A survey of the major social, political, economic and cultural themes in U.S. History from the earliest European settlements to the aftermath of the Revolution. Formerly HST 280.

HST 182

UNITED STATES, 1800-1900

A survey of the major social, political, economic and cultural themes in U.S. history from the aftermath of the Revolution to the Spanish-American War. Formerly HST 281.

HST 183

UNITED STATES, 1900-PRESENT (FORMERLY HST 282)

A survey of the major social, political, economic and cultural themes in U.S. history from the Progressive era to the present. Formerly HST 282.