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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Program

"I have learned about many critical issues that we face every day as American citizens. From creating a zine in collaboration with IU students and incarcerated individuals in Putnamville Correctional Facility to breaking down hoarding narratives' place within American pop culture. I have honed my skills to critically assess commonplace issues within American culture through a variety of lenses. With increased critical analysis comes an increase in effective communication. I find myself more capable in communicating and expressing my thoughts and enacting upon conclusions discovered in my classes."

Stone Irr
American Studies and
Political & Civic Engagement

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.