In the American Studies Program, professors in several departments blend their specialized knowledge in ways that boost your ability to learn about America. This interdisciplinary approach is valuable, and perhaps even indispensable, because America is not easily encompassed. It has a rich history and culture that includes:
- Puritans and Pawnees
- African slaves and hip-hop artists
- labor militants and Ku Klux Klansmen
- the telegram and text-messaging
- women as chattel and suffragists
- Christian Science and public health medicine
- the musket ball and the atomic bomb
- Martin Luther King and David Petraeus
- Emily Dickinson and George Lucas
Following an initial grounding in the basics (Introduction to American Studies) and overviews of American history and literature (US History before and since 1865; American Literature I & II), you will have the opportunity to explore in-depth courses on America as varied as Constitutional Law, Art since 1945, American Catholicism, the American Renaissance, Genres: Film, the Blues, the History of Native Peoples, and the Cold War, just to name a few. Add a course on American Studies theory and methods. Then you complete the major with a capstone course where you can show that you have learned how to take a particular problem in American Studies and, using the interdisciplinary methods you’ve been practicing, produce a solid research study.
Finally, although an American Studies major can be a wonderful opportunity to gain a liberal arts education (a worthy goal in its own right!), we all have to think about how to earn a living after college. The good news is that American Studies can help give you the tools to do just that. Our majors have gone on to varied careers as lawyers, museum directors, sales reps, bankers, EMTs, teachers, librarians, public historians, university administrators, government officials, and more. See some of their stories in the profiles section of this site.
You will work closely with an American Studies adviser to develop a program that is both interdisciplinary and that pursues significant themes or questions in depth.
Our program's interdisciplinary approach is ideal for a future career in middle or high school education. As such, American Studies is an excellent choice of major if you are thinking about also pursuing a complementary degree in Elementary or Secondary Education.
Our study abroad program at Saint Michael’s also allows you to do a semester at another American college or university to explore a special interest in a topic or geographical area.
Not only will an American Studies major give you an in-depth knowledge of your country and culture, it will provide you with the skills necessary to excel in a variety of professions or to pursue an advanced degree at a graduate institution. Our majors have gone on to varied, successful careers as lawyers, museum directors, sales reps, bankers, EMTs, teachers, librarians, public historians, university administrators, government officials, and more.