Maryland’s undergraduate program in American studies is one of the nation’s oldest and best regarded.
Originally conceived as a cooperative venture combining sociology, government, U. S. history and American literature, American studies continues to be an interdisciplinary field that draws widely on the university’s superb resources in the humanities and social sciences as well as the intellectual resources of the Washington, D.C. area.
Two broad themes inform the department’s teaching and research: the cultural construction of identity and difference and the cultures 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.
Information for Current Students
Current students who seek to change their major to American studies are advised to complete the following steps:
1. Get an overview of the overall major and potential focus areas by exploring this website or by picking up handouts from the rack outside 1328F Tawes Hall.
2. Meet with the undergraduate director: Students can set up an advising appointment by contacting the department (301-405-1354).
3. Complete appropriate forms: Students will complete a Four Year Plan worksheet and an AMST Advising Worksheet during their intake meeting with the undergraduate director. The AMST worksheet stays in the department in the student’s folder.
4. Submit the “College of Arts & Humanities Change of Major Form”: Students should bring the signed Four Year Plan worksheet to the ARHU Office of Student Affairs (1120 Francis Scott Key Hall, 301-405-2108). Students may be able to meet with an advisor immediately or may be asked to schedule an appointment at a later date. Enrollment in the major is not complete until an ARHU advisor has signed the Four Year Plan worksheet.
5. New majors will be assigned a permanent American studies faculty advisor, with whom you will need to meet at least once per semester prior to pre-registration. Advisor assignments are posted outside the American studies office and online.