Requirements (Pre-06/01/07)

American Studies provides a solid foundation in theories and methods applicable to the investigation of American culture and society, past and present. The major also provides flexibility by enabling students to pursue a supporting area such as English, history, sociology, African American studies, women’s studies, or media studies, in conjunction with course work in American Studies.

Required Courses

  • AMST201 Introduction to American Studies (3 hours).Required of all majors.
  • 3-6 hours from among the following lower-division courses:
    • AMST203 Popular Culture in America
    • AMST204 Film and American Culture Studies
    • AMST205 Material Aspects of American Life
    • AMST207 Contemporary American Cultures
    • AMST211 Technology and American Culture
    • AMST212 Diversity in American Culture
  • AMST330 Critics of American Culture (3 hours). Required of all majors.
  • 6-9 hours from among the following upper-division courses:
    • AMST418 Cultural Themes in America
    • AMST428 American Cultural Eras
    • AMST429 Perspectives on Popular Culture
    • AMST432 Literature and American Society
    • AMST433 American Humor
    • AMST498 Special Topics (if offered as a course)
  • AMST450 Seminar in American Studies (3 hours). Required of all majors. The capstone course in the major, AMST 450 is generally the final course that majors take in the department. Prerequisites: Senior standing and completion of 9 hours in American Studies courses, including AMST201 and AMST330.

American Studies courses such as AMST360 Fieldwork in American Studies, the special topics numbers (AMST298, AMST498), internships (AMST386), and the independent studies number (AMST398) may be used to fulfill 3 credits towards major requirements.

Focus Areas Requirement
The remaining 24 hours (eight courses) of the major are grouped in two focus areas, each consisting of 12 hours of course work taken in other departments or programs.

  • One of the two focus areas must consist of appropriately grouped courses taken in one of the following: English (American Literature); History (US History); Sociology/Anthropology; Art/Architectural History; Media Studies.
  • The other core area may be taken in a second disciplinary core from the list above, or it may be an interdisciplinary core consisting of courses from several departments or programs. Interdisciplinary or thematic cores include: Afro-American Studies, Women’s Studies, Popular Culture, Personality and Culture, Ethnic Studies, Comparative Culture, Material Culture, Business and Economics, Government and Politics, Education, Philosophy, Journalism, Science and Technology.

Because the choice and content of the two core areas are crucial to the overall coherence of each student’s program, majors plan them in close consultation with a faculty advisor.

Note: of the overall total of 45 hours, at least 24 must be taken in upper division (300/400 level) courses. Students must receive a grade of C or better in all courses offered in fulfillment of major requirements. In addition to the requirements of the major, students must fulfill all University and College requirements as set fourth in the Undergraduate Catalog, the College of Arts and Humanities Mini Guide, and the Schedule of Classes. Majors are encouraged to discuss the fulfilling of these other requirements with their advisor so as to achieve the greatest possible coherence in their overall undergraduate program, and are strongly encouraged to have a preliminary senior audit prior to pre-registration for the senior year.

Contact:
Dr. Mary Sies
Director of Undergraduate Studies
1328F Tawes Hall
301-405-1354 (main office) or 301-405-1361 (direct)
sies@umd.edu

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