Bachelor of Arts in American Studies

School of Humanities

This major is designed to provide students with an integrated and critical knowledge of American culture, drawing on courses in American Studies and in the traditional disciplines and culminating in two senior seminars. A number of interests may be pursued within the major, including popular culture, art, technology, business, law, archives, museology, and conservation. The major helps prepare students for careers in business, teaching, government, and a number of other areas, and for enrollment in law and other professional programs.

For a B. A. degree in American Studies, a minimum of 123 credits is required.

For a B. HUM. degree in American Studies, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

Entry to Major Requirements:
1. At the end of the sophomore year, any student in good standing may gain entrance into the major without having completed specific courses.
2. Any student seeking entrance during the fifth semester will be granted entrance at the discretion of the American Studies Committee and/or Director following evaluation of the student's record.
3. Any student seeking entrance during or after the sixth semester will be expected to have completed at least 12 credits, which may be counted toward the major in American Studies

Career Opportunities

The American Studies program provides students interested in American culture, society and history the opportunity to apply this background to a variety of professions in many career settings. Graduates of the American Studies program may prepare for careers in museums, government, law, communications, or education. Many business organizations have positions requiring American Studies backgrounds for public relations, art management, and tourism. Communications fields are another example of potential opportunity. Many graduates continue their education in the areas of American Studies, Communications, History, Humanities, Law, and Public Administration.

Job Settings

A graduate of American Studies can explore opportunities within Archives, Art Museums, Art Management, Business, Cultural Organizations, Discovery Museums, Living History Museums, Galleries, Government, Historical Societies, Historical Publications, Law, Magazine Publishing or Writing, National Parks, Natural History Museums, Planetariums, Radio, Retail, Schools, Science Centers, Television, Tourism, and Universities.

Job Title

The following are some examples of common job titles for American Studies graduates: Archeologist, Business Affairs Director, Collections Manager, Curator, Development Director, Editor, Educational Programs Director, Exhibit Personnel, Historian, Membership Coordinator, Public Relations Coordinator, Producer, Salesperson, Script Writer, Teacher, Training Coordinator, Visitor Services Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, and Youth Programs Manager.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics, employment for graduates with an American Studies background is expected to increase faster than the average through 2016. Competition for jobs as archivists, curators, and museum technicians and other service positions within these areas is expected to be keen.  Employment in related career areas such as public relations, sales, and marketing will be increasing at a similar rate.  Students with computer and visual documentation skills have excellent job prospects.

Internships

Students are encouraged to take advantage of internships and volunteer opportunities that could strengthen job potential. American Studies internships provide opportunities for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a typical workplace. Internships can be approved for a varying amount of credits based on the number and sophistication of the tasks a student will perform, the extent to which the internship will foster independent effort, and the specific outcomes of the experience. Prospective interns should consult with their adviser about internship opportunities and apply 3 to 6 months before they expect to participate. Additional information can be obtained from the School of Humanities.

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