Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  
American Studies

American Studies Major and Minor

How do I become an American Studies major or minor?

An American Studies major or minor can only be declared after a meeting with the program director. Please contact Micki McGee, the American Studies Director, for more information.

What types of courses do American Studies majors take?

The American Studies major is a series of ten courses. Three specific courses are required: Major Developments in American Culture, which is an interdisciplinary history of American cultural traditions; Approaches to American Studies, which is a seminar that explores interdisciplinary approahces; and the senior seminar, which culminates in the writing of the senior thesis. Students must choose a concentration, and take four courses with one of the following focuses: Cultural Products (Arts, literature, and media); Diversity and Difference; or Power, Politics, and Institutions.

The American Studies minor is a series of six courses: the American Studies junior seminar, plus five courses that cover four disciplines of Literature; Art, music, theater, or media; Religion or philosophy; and History or social science.

For a listing of past and current American Studies courses, click here.

What types of professors teach in American Studies?

American Studies professors are drawn from departments throughout the university.

What types of internships, fellowships, and study abroad opportunities are available for American Studies majors?

American Studies students are often very active beyond their traditional academic program at Fordham. Students are encouraged to examine all points of views concerning America, including those by people or peoples who do not live within its borders. Therefore, students who wish to do so are encouraged to study abroad. American Studies students have studied American culture from as far away as the University of Melbourne in Australia, Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England, the University of the City of Dublin in Ireland, and the University of Florence in Italy, to name just a few options. To visit the Fordham Study Abroad website, click here.

Many students decide to intensify their study without leaving the country. During the school year and over the summer, many students work in internships and apply for fellowships that deepen their knowledge in their particular areas of interest. Students have interned in a variety of fields; our talented American Studies majors have found positions in politics, law, journalism, theatres, museums, service, and non-profit organizations, to name just a few. In addition, many students apply to and receive major national fellowships including Madison, Truman, and New York Urban Fellowships. As you can see, the American Studies program is extremely flexible and student have many choices for internships, fellowships, and travel. Learn more about internships and pre-professional programs offered through Fordham University, click here.

What types of graduate programs do American Studies majors apply to and attend?

Approximately one-third of American Studies graduates go on to graduate programs to specialize in one particular discipline studied in the major. Some common choices include degree programs in American history, American literature, American art, or American philosophy. Approximately another third of our graduates decide to go on to earn a degree in law. With its focus on analytical thinking, strong writing skills, and self-direction, an American Studies degree has proven especially beneficial for those planning to apply to law school.

What types of careers do American Studies majors go on to?

One-third of American Studies graduates enter the work world directly after graduation. The rest attend graduate programs before embarking upon their careers. American Studies graduates work in such diverse fields as law, academia, primary and secondary education, non-profit or service organizations, government, business, and many others.

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