Educationally distinctive, American Studies is both intensive, in having America as its unvarying concern, and extensive, in relying upon different disciplines. For the students and teachers involved, American Studies means joining in a shared effort with persons whose concerns are partly, or even largely, at variance with one’s own. Such an approach offers a special opportunity to integrate knowledge of American literature, history, politics, economics, art and philosophy into a complex but meaningful whole.
Taking a minor or a major in American Studies permits the student to see a single subject, America, in different ways with the help of various academic departments and disciplines. Such minor and major programs are readily adapted, with advisement, to the needs, abilities and preferences of the individual student.
American Studies is an interdisciplinary alternative for undergraduates looking forward to graduate work and careers in public service, law, higher education, and other fields associated with the social sciences and humanities.