Undergraduate Program


American Studies Major

The 36-unit undergraduate major requires 12 units of American Studies core courses and 24 elective units in American Studies and related fields.

Required Core Courses (12 units):

·       AMST 201 - Introduction to American Studies

·       AMST 301 - The American Character

·       AMST 350 - Theory & Method of American Studies

·       AMST 401T - Proseminar in American Studies

Electives (24 units) must be chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. They are subject to the following requirements:

Students may take all eight elective courses (24 units) in American Studies courses or they may include up to four courses (12 units) from other departments upon approval of a faculty adviser.

Students who choose to include courses from other departments must follow one of two plans in selecting those courses, a "theme approach" or a "disciplines approach."

o   If they follow the "theme approach," students work with a faculty adviser to determine a concentration or theme, such as gender, popular culture, regionalism, law and society, or urban studies.

o   If they follow the “disciplines approach,” students may take upper-division courses from one or two other disciplines, such as African American studies, Asian American Studies, anthropology, art, Chicano studies, communications, criminal justice, English, geography, history, political science, psychology, Cinema and Television Arts, or sociology. They must take at least two courses in any one discipline.

o   All courses taken outside American Studies must be upper-division. Whichever plan is followed, all non- American Studies coursework must be substantive rather than skill or how-to courses and must have an American focus or a cross-cultural focus involving America. 

Once students have earned 85 units, they should apply for graduation. To complete a grad check in American Studies, students should email an American Studies faculty advisor with their CWID or visit faculty office hours.


Double Majoring

You might want to consider pursuing coursework in American Studies as part of a double major. You can double count 12 units in another major, applying those units to degree requirements in both American Studies and the other major.

Approximately 40% of American Studies majors are double majors. The most common double majors combine American Studies with Communications, History, or Political Science.

American Studies Minor

The 21-unit undergraduate minor requires 9 units of American Studies core courses and 12 elective units, three of which may be in a related field.

Required Core Courses (9 units):

·        AMST 201 - Introduction to American Studies

·        AMST 301 - The American Character*

·        AMST 401T - Proseminar in American Studies

 * Students with a catalog year prior to Fall 2020 may take AMST 345 instead of AMST 301.

Electives (12 units) must be chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser. They are subject to the following requirements:

·        3 units may be lower division, for example, AMST 101 - Introduction to American Culture Studies.  

·        3 units may be from another department upon approval of an American Studies Department adviser.


Undergraduate Advising

Majors and minors should always remember to see a faculty adviser once a semester to plan course work for the upcoming semester. Any full-time faculty member in the department can serve as an adviser. The American Studies department office can tell you any faculty member's office hours. The department office is located in GH-313, or can be reached by phone at (657) 278-2441. Or, you can click on a faculty member's name on the Faculty listing page to see their office hours for the current semester.