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American Studies, B.A.

Program Description

American Studies (AMST) is an interdisciplinary program that examines American society and culture, both past and present. Through a study of American history, literature, philosophy, religion, media, social science, and fine arts, students critically analyze the richness of the American experience.

American Studies is linked with PreK-4 Elementary Education as a required double major in order to comply with requirements in individual states requiring content area specialization for teaching certification.

American Studies majors also learn to deconstruct various American narratives that are embedded in formal and popular culture and that reveal a deeper understanding of race, ethnicity, class, and gender, and of America's place in the world. In this sense, students become "cultural critics" who, in seeing connections across academic disciplines, are able to apply an interdisciplinary perspective in assessing the dominant assumptions about power and identity in everyday life. 

American Studies majors also have an opportunity to do an internship, a field-based experience that helps them link theory to practice through the application of AMST courses and research strategies to real-life problems. Typical internships sites include the Betsy Ross House, Franklin Institute, Cliveden Historical House, Germantown Historical Society, National Park Service, and the Philadelphia criminal justice system.

American Studies Program Link

Why Take This Major?

The Bachelor of Arts in American Studies prepares students for numerous careers that require broad-based understanding of American culture, critical thinking and writing, and interdisciplinary perspectives and applications. Such careers include law, journalism, business, public service, social work, education, museum studies, and graduate school.