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American Studies
  • Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Typical class size: 20 - 25
  • JAVĿ¼ family:1

American Studies

Understand our cultures and transform the world!

The American studies program helps you to understand multiple approaches to the study of American culture, all the while honing your ability to conduct independent research in order to reach informed conclusions about issues that are important to you. You will be prepared to live a meaningful life as an informed citizen, ready to be publicly engaged in an increasingly complex global environment.

A strong emphasis on writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills prepare you for a number of different professions.

Program Overview

Students participate in a Sustained Dialogue event to explore racism in American culture.

Students participate in a Sustained Dialogue event to explore racism in American culture.

Mirroring the diversity found in American culture, the American studies program at JAVĿ¼ draws from a number of sources to offer a comprehensive view of the nation’s multifaceted landscape. Through the study of literature, arts, history, politics and social movements, you will gain a holistic understanding of United States culture. More to the point, the program’s interdisciplinary nature gives you the ability to make connections between different ideas and concepts, which leads to deeper analysis and, ultimately, practical problem-solving.

In addition to liberal arts Core requirements, 13 credits in concentrated American studies coursework are required for the degree major. In addition, you will choose 21 credits of elective classes from content areas covering American history, the social sciences, and the humanities. There are additional specific requirements for American studies majors who are also majoring in inclusive adolescence education.

If you are interested in taking advantage of study abroad opportunities, we will support you. In addition, internship opportunities abound for American studies majors.

Life After JAVĿ¼

The program's diverse approach bolsters your credentials as a well-rounded employee, no matter the field you decide to pursue upon graduation. As an American studies graduate, ample career opportunities are open to you in:

  • Business
  • Government administration
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Museum curation/collections management
  • Political representation
  • Public service
  • Teaching
  • Urban planning

Upon earning your B.A. in American studies, you will be ready to occupy a wide variety of positions. Positions held by graduates of JAVĿ¼’s American studies program include:

  • Business owner
  • Historic Resource Specialist
  • Special education teacher
  • College reference librarian
  • Director of Policy and Innovation
  • Programmer and web developer
  • Attorney

Sample Projects

As an American studies major, you will have the chance to participate in special projects including a course dedicated to brave conversations.

 My capstone class in American studies had a large impact on me as a person. My professor allowed me the space to write about my own identity and place in America. ”

Julia Detmer

 American studies prepares our graduates both for careers right out of college and for further study in graduate school. Students choose this major for its flexibility and the ability to craft an individualized education around their interests. ”

Mark Rice

 My degree in American studies has allowed me to excel in my career at a young age. The program taught me how to establish a position on a particular issue and convey a consistent message while addressing alternative perspectives. ”

Peter Stoller
  • Peter Stoller '05
  • Executive Director, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) - Rochester, NY Chapter