Course Requirements


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, ideally, should be completed in the sophomore or junior years. Seniors should plan to take the capstone seminar course, AMS 301, in the fall of their senior year. 

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.

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