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American Studies

American Studies

Our American studies program presents a dynamic exploration of our nation, both as a geographical area, and a cultural and political space.

This interdisciplinary field draws on courses from 12 departments, giving a broad perspective of the history, art, politics, religion, popular culture, literature and other features of American life.

Choosing from among more than 160 courses, students analyze the diverse character of the American experience, shaped by gender, race, class, sexuality, geography and ethnicity. These experiences are studied within a context of global economic, cultural and political relations.

Special learning opportunities

This highly individualized program tailors coursework to personal interests and needs. Students develop a thematic core around which to build a unique and innovative course of study. Themes may be centered on a specific era (e.g., antebellum America or the United States since the Cold War) or a topic (e.g., the emergence of mass culture or issues of ethnicity and race in American life). One unique opportunity students pursue is Union's civil rights public history mini-term, a three-week tour of sites of the major civil rights actions in the South.


As an American studies major, you will develop many of the same skills as other majors in the social sciences and the humanities, including writing, critical thinking and research, and therefore open up similar career paths for life after Union. Recent graduates of the program have found positions in business, teaching and government service, while others have gone on to law school, M.B.A. programs, and M.A. and Ph.D. work in various disciplines, including history, literature, visual arts, journalism and American studies.