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A major in American Studies consists of at least 30 credits in American Studies courses (core, co-listed, or cross-listed) with a grade of C- or better in each course, with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in AMS courses. These credits must include at least 18 at the 300 level or above. All majors must complete:

  • AMS 101: Introduction to American Studies
  • AMS 310: The United States in the Worldat
  • least two other AMS core courses
  • at least one course in American history
  • at least one course in American literature

Students must take three courses, chosen in consultation with an American Studies advisor, in a specialized area of American Studies (200 level or higher).  Students may work in areas including, but not limited to, Ethnic Studies, Caribbean Studies, Latino/a Studies, Environmental Studies, Communication Studies, Women's Literature, Urban Studies, Africana Studies, Religious Studies, or Material Culture Studies. At least one of these courses must be either comparative or non-U.S.-based.

Students must take courses from at least three different departments in order to fulfill the requirements for the major.

In addition, all majors must complete AMS 501: Senior Project. This capstone course can take the form of an individual research project or an internship at a local cultural or civic institution.  For the research option, students will identify an appropriate faculty member to supervise and grade the project, and then obtain approval from the program director before proceeding with the project.  The student must produce a substantial written report or research paper, the format of which will be determined by the faculty member and student in consultation with the program director. For the internship option, students will partner with any number of local institutions and produce a creative and/or scholarly project for evaluation. The internship will be arranged through the program director, in consultation with the Butler Center.  The final product will be evaluated by the program director. 

American Studies majors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in AMS courses and an overall GPA of at least 3.0 may earn departmental honors by completing AMS 505: Honors Thesis. Candidates for departmental honors are responsible for finding a faculty member to serve as thesis advisor. Students then must complete a thesis proposal of approximately 500 words that must be approved by the thesis advisor and the program director. The format and length of the thesis will vary according to the nature of the project. Students would take AMS 501 in the fall semester of the senior year and AMS 505 in the spring to complete the honors thesis.

NOTE: Students who enrolled at UM prior to Fall 2007, please click here.