2023-2024 Catalog 
    Dec 06, 2023  
2023-2024 Catalog

American Studies Major

Major Requirements

The major in American Studies requires 9 courses, distributed as follows:

1. Introductory Course (1 course)

2. United States History (2 courses)

Two courses in U. S. history . At least one must contain significant pre-1900 content.

3. Ethnic Studies (1 course)

One course in:

  • Africana Studies
  • Asian American Studies
  • Chicanx-Latinx Studies
  • Histories and/or cultures of Native Americans

4. Junior Seminar (1 course)

This seminar is normally taken in the fall of the junior year.

5. Electives (4 courses)

Four elective courses  drawn from at least two disciplines in a single thematic focus area, selected in consulation with the American Studies program coordinator. For example:

  • Race and Social Justice in the U.S.
  • The U.S. in a Transnational Context

Senior Thesis in American Studies

The senior thesis is a general education requirement and the capstone experience of a student’s undergraduate education. Students must complete a senior thesis in at least one of their majors under supervision of a faculty reader who teaches within that major, unless granted a special exception.

CMC students interested in a 2-semester thesis project normally enroll in AMST190 SC - Senior Thesis Seminar  in the fall semester, followed by the senior thesis in the spring semester. The senior thesis and related seminar may not be counted as courses in the major for CMC students. For further information on honors in the major, see Honors in American Studies .

Special Options for Majors

Dual Majors

The dual major in American Studies requires a minimum of 7 courses. Dual majors in American Studies may waive 2 elective course requirements from the full major.

All electives should be selected in consultation with the American Studies program coordinator.

Students dual majoring in American Studies are encouraged to write their senior thesis on a topic in American studies.

Honors in American Studies

To be eligible for honors in American Studies, students must:

  • Achieve an A- (3.67) GPA or better in the American Studies major.
  • Complete a thesis in American Studies and receive a grade of A- (11.0) or better.
  • Successfully defend an American Studies thesis in an oral examination before a committee of three members (the thesis committee, plus an additional member).

Students interested in the Honors Program should notify the coordinator of the American Studies Program at Scripps in the spring of their junior year.

General Education Requirements for American Studies Majors

Students with interdisciplinary majors requiring courses in the humanities and/or social sciences are required to take designated courses in 6 different fields of the humanities and social sciences for the general education requirements.

American studies majors must take courses in 3 or 4 of the 4 fields of the social sciences (economics, government, history, and psychology), and in 2 or 3 of the 4 fields of the humanities (literature, philosophy, religious studies, and literature in a foreign language) for a total of 6 courses. American studies majors with a dual or double major in a second field of the humanities or social sciences will usually be required to take an additional course. For further information on general education requirements, see General Education Requirements .

Student Learning Outcomes of the Program in American Studies

  1. Students are able to build an argument effectively using a wide range of evidence across the disciplines.
  2. Students are able to use primary and secondary sources effectively in carrying on research in American Studies.
  3. Students are able to demonstrate awareness of methodological issues.
  4. Students are able to demonstrate effective and appropriate writing skills in communicating the histories and cultures of the United States.