Undergraduate Contact Information

American Studies Program

Dr. George Sirgiovanni
Program Chairperson
Santa Maria Hall
Second Floor

Phone: (973) 290-4305
Email: gsirgiovanni@cse.edu



American Studies

Overview & Mission

The American Studies Program seeks to broaden and deepen students' knowledge about the American Experience from colonial to present times. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, students in this Program examine the historical, literary, political, spiritual, social, and aesthetic identities and achievements of the American people across the generations. In so doing, students should be inspired to develop and maintain an intellectual curiosity that will augment their future professional success and personal development.

Flowing from the Mission of the College of Saint Elizabeth, the Mission of the American Studies Program is to provide a multidisciplinary curriculum that fosters students' understanding of the history, culture, institutions, and diversity of the United States of America and its peoples, in the expectation that this knowledge will enhance students' comprehension of America's present and future opportunities, challenges, and identity.



Student Outcomes

  1. Acquire a broad-based, multi-disciplinary knowledge of American life and culture, past and present.
  2. Develop the analytical-reasoning skills required to understand and evaluate complex material about past and present American life and culture, emanating from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
  3. Acquire the skills needed to research, organize, and write substantive papers on topics pertinent to the study of American life and culture, past and present.
  4. Develop the oral-communication skills required to discuss and verbally interpret and appraise subject matter pertinent to the study of American life and culture, past and present.
  5. Apply the skills gained from the American Studies Major in successful ways to other contexts, including graduate school, employment, and everyday life situations.

Graduates

With the range of skills they acquire, students who major in American Studies acquire broad preparation for a variety of professional endeavors.

These include:

  • Elementary school teaching
  • Law
  • Government service
  • Journalism
  • Corporate employment

Some American Studies majors enter post-baccalaureate programs in a variety of academic fields.

American Studies Program


Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in American Studies

The American Studies major consists of 36 credits, taken in the following manner:

  • AMST 101 Introduction to American Studies (3)
  • HIS 100 Survey of American History (4)
  • AMST 305 American Studies Junior Seminar (2)
  • AMST 310 Independent Study (1-4)

OR

  • AMST 467 American Studies Capstone Seminar (2)
  • AMST 495 Internship (2)

The remaining required credits are to be taken in one of two Concentrations: Culture and Humanities, or Human and Social Development. Each of these Concentrations, corresponding to two of the College's Academic Areas, includes numerous courses that focus on diverse and important aspects of the American experience.

In Culture and Humanities, these courses can be found within the offerings of such subjects as History, Literature, Political Science, Aesthetics, Theology and Philosophy. In Human and Social Development, these courses can be found within the offerings of such subjects as Sociology, Justice Studies, Education, and Women's Studies.

With the help of their advisor, American Studies majors will select courses of interest whose content emphasizes key elements of life in the United States, past or present. Selected coursework must be drawn from a range of subjects, to provide breadth of perspectives and insights.

At least two 300-level courses must be taken as part of the American Studies major.

Total: 36 credits

Capstone Requirement:

The Capstone Requirement for the American Studies Major consists of writing a substantial research paper, involving the use of primary-source material, on an approved topic pertinent to this multidisciplinary field. This paper will be completed by senior-year American Studies majors as part of the requirements of AMST 467 American Studies Capstone Seminar. Students enrolled in this Seminar will orally present their completed papers to classmates and professors who teach in the American Studies Program.

Requirements for the Minor in American Studies

The American Studies Minor consists of 18 credits, to be completed by taking the following courses:

  • AMST 100 Introduction to American Studies (2)
  • HIS 100 Survey of American History (4)

The remaining 12 credits are to be taken in one of two Concentrations: Culture and Humanities, or Human and Social Development. With the help of their advisor, American Studies minors will choose a Concentration and will select courses of interest within it whose content emphasizes key aspects of life in the United States, past or present.

Selected coursework must be drawn from at least two subjects, and at least one 300-level course must be taken toward the American Studies minor.