Overview & Mission
Flowing from the mission of the College of Saint Elizabeth, the mission of the American Studies Program is to provide students with interdisciplinary academic perspectives that will enable them to examine, learn about, research, and reflect upon the history, culture, institutions, and diversity of the United States of America and its people. Employing a multi-disciplinary approach, students in this Program examine the historical, literary, political, spiritual, social, and aesthetic identities and achievements of the American people. In addition to deepening their knowledge about the American experience, students will significantly sharpen their critical-thinking, analytical-reasoning, research, oral-communication, and writing skills. Students can obtain a major or a minor in American Studies.
- Acquire a broad-based, multi-disciplinary knowledge of American life and culture, past and present.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Apply the skills gained from the American Studies Major in successful ways to other contexts, including graduate school, employment, and everyday life situations.
With the range of skills they acquire, students who major in American Studies are broadly prepared for a variety of professional endeavors. These include:
- Elementary-school teaching
- Government service
- Corporate employment
Some majors enter graduate-school programs in a variety of fields.
American Studies Program
Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in American Studies
- AMST101 Introduction to American Studies (3)
- HIS100 Survey of American History (4)
One course from each of the following categories:
- ENG265 Studies in American Literature
- ENG300 Seminar in Major Literary Figures (when topic is appropriate)
- ENG310 Seminar in a Literary Tradition (when topic is appropriate)
- ENG315 Seminar in Literature and Culture Context
Philosophy and Theology (4)
- THEO203 Catholic Social Teaching and Practice
- THEO250 Introduction to Christian Ethics
- THEO260 Religion in America
- THEO285/385 Ethics and Justice
- PHIL213 American Philosophy
- PHIL233/333 Ethics in Business and Society
- SOC200 Cultural Diversity
- SOC201 Social Problems
- SOC251 Sociology of the Family
- SOC281 Sociology of Aging
- SOC311 Criminology
- SOC300 Race, Class and Gender
- SOC321 Urban Sociology
- ART245 Insights into Culture Through Visual Art: Selected Topics (when topic is appropriate)
- ENG228 American Film
- MUS151 The Broadway Musical
- MUS233 American Music
- HIS215 American Economic History
- HIS230 History with Film
- HIS235 African-American History
- HIS245 American Women’s History
- HIS250 Special Topics in American History
- HIS300 Readings in American History
- 105 American Politics and Government
- 221 Law and Contemporary American Society
- 361 The American Presidency
- 371 American Constitutional Law
With the approval of their advisor, students may take as an American Studies Elective one of the courses listed above that they otherwise have not taken, or one of the following: ED 145 Issues in American Education, AMST 491 Independent Study, AMST 495 Internship and apply them to the major.
Total: 35 credits
Students must complete, in addition to the Capstone Seminar, at least two 300/400-level courses among the courses they take to complete the American Studies major.
*American Studies students can apply a maximum of three courses in any single subject toward completion of this major.
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 interdisciplinary field. This paper will be completed by students as part of the requirements of AMST 467 American Studies Capstone Seminar. Students enrolled in this Seminar will verbally present their completed papers to classmates and professors who teach in the American Studies Program.
Requirements for a Minor in American Studies
- AMST101 Introduction to American Studies (3)
- HIS100 Survey of American History I (4)
- ENG265 Studies in American Literature (4)
- Electives* (7-8)
*In consultation with the Program Chairperson, American Studies minors select nine (9) credits of elective courses, with at least one being a 300-level offering.