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Indiana University Bloomington
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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Program

"American studies promotes a critical lens with which to view the world. This lens focuses on cultural appreciation, critical understanding of global relations, and the inclusion of the United States, Central America, and South America as all part of the Americas. While it constantly challenges and evaluates popular notions, it perpetuates a better understanding of the world around you which is truly valuable in all life’s endeavors."

Jamie Palmer
      American Studies and
      Sociology major

In American Studies, we explore the history, literature, and culture of the United States and the larger Americas from an interdisciplinary perspective. Our undergraduate major is one of the most intellectually ambitious degrees offered by the College of Arts & Sciences, offering smaller classes, tougher academic requirements, and a closer working relationship with individual faculty right up through the composition of a senior thesis.

Upon completion of the B.A. in American Studies, you can expect the following outcomes:

  • Graduates will be able to set the history, politics, and culture of the United States in a global and comparative context.
  • Graduates will be able to think logically and analytically, to make detailed observations, and to formulate interdisciplinary interpretations of the literature, art, music, and mass culture of the United States, Canada, and the Americas.
  • Graduates will be familiar with fundamental principles of American Studies as an interdisciplinary field.
  • Graduates will know how to collect, document, maintain, and manage evidence, and how to organize and compose interpretive and research essays.
  • Graduates will have developed oral and written communication skills.

Many different careers can result from this sort of training, including careers in the legal profession, social work, politics, academia, and public history, among others. The American Studies degree provides an excellent preparation for nearly any graduate or professional degree, as well as careers in any number of traditional or nontraditional fields.

Additional information about American Studies can be found in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin 2012-2013. Please see this publication.