This page uses javascript to help render elements, if you have problems please enable javascript.
You are now inside the main content area

Welcome to American Studies

What is American Studies?

In American Studies, we explore how culture has shaped Americans’ diverse experiences. Highly interdisciplinary, we integrate tools, skills, and ideas from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences to analyze American culture, society, and politics.  For us, “America” and “American” are not static entities but contested concepts that shift across time, space, and communities. Consequently, in our courses you will explore questions such as:

  •  What does it mean to be an “American”?
  • How and why have Americans’ experiences differed across race, class, gender, region sexual orientation, ability, and other divides?
  • How has popular culture influenced the way Americans see and understand themselves and others?
  • How have the policies surrounding immigration, criminal justice, social welfare, and war been shaped by large cultural understandings?
  • Why do Americans seem so divided over politics, culture, and science today?
  • How and why has work and its significance changed in American society?
  • How have ideas about nature shaped our relationships to the environment and development?
  • How can we ensure that emerging technologies are used to improve rather than harm the lives and livelihoods of all Americans?   
  • How have beauty and fashion served as sites of self-development and expression?
  • How has the pursuit of social justice transformed American culture and the rights and privileges of citizens?   
  • How has American culture drawn from and influenced other cultures around the globe?

American Studies at CSUF

We are a department of passionate and supportive faculty dedicated to understanding American culture. In our classes, you'll encounter a wide selection of sources including novels, music, movies, games, and architecture. You will conduct close readings of texts, ethnographic interviews and observations, contemporary and historical contextualization, and other methods to examine issues from diverse perspectives. Rather than merely repeating materials, you will evaluate what you have learned and connect it to your experiences.

Our curriculum is rigorous but flexible and is designed to enable you to explore passions while preparing you for potential careers. In our GE courses, you will examine the broader dimensions of American culture. In our upper division electives, you will work in small classes to explore a specific topic in depth. And in our internship program, you can translate the passion and knowledge you’ve cultivated into a career path. 

American Studies Careers

In American Studies, you will master skills that are valuable in any career calling for extensive knowledge of human relationships and communities and strong research and communication skills. Many of our students become educators. Others work in marking or media companies or specialize in human resources or project management. Others work in public service, community organizing, or the arts. Some pursue professional degrees or Ph.Ds. in a variety of fields. You might not know exactly what American Studies is (yet), but we’ll teach you how to show employers exactly why your degree is useful and valuable.

Land Acknowledgement

We collectively acknowledge that Cal State Fullerton is located on traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of Indigenous people. Before this land was colonized it was cared for and called home by the Tongva and Acjachemen Peoples. We recognize that this land holds great historical, spiritual, and personal significance for its original inhabitants.

To ensure that we are truly catalyzing change rooted in this social justice principle, the AMST Department recognizes and continually support and advocate for the sovereignty of the Native nations in this territory and beyond. By offering this land acknowledgment, we affirm tribal sovereignty and our commitment to the tribes that historically called this land home.


Location: Gordon Hall 313
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm
Phone: Phone: (657) 278-2441
Fax: (657) 278-5820