The undergraduate program of American Studies at the University of Maryland offers an interdisciplinary approach to the cultural complexities of the United States and the people, places, literary and visual arts, ideas, and institutions that comprise it. This interdisciplinary focus on cultural constructions and identity is complemented with courses outside the American Studies department. Through majoring in American Studies, students will gain transferable skills in critical thinking, verbal and written communications, analytical thinking, and research, all of which are sought by employers and advanced degree programs.
Two broad themes inform the department’s teaching and research: the social construction of difference and the culture of everyday life. The former speaks to the ways in which affiliations are created and sustained; the latter focuses on patterns of belief and value that give form and meaning to the lived experience of Americans, past and present. Through these emphases, the program aims to help students develop knowledge about American society and culture that is critical, contextual, and informed by a high degree of personal awareness.
A note about writing for students of American Studies.