Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  
American Studies


The American Studies major consists of a total of ten courses for the major:

AMST 2000: Major Developments in American Culture

An interdisciplinary history of American cultural traditions. Students will be introduced to major developments in American culture, arts, literature, folk culture, thought, and media. Course provides a historical foundation for majors and sets transformations in culture in the context of American political, social, religious, and economic history.

AMST 4010: Approaches to American Studies (Seminar)
An introduction to the interdisciplinary perspectives and methods of American Studies. Class will explore the theme of characterizing and defining "America," with attention to how a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to this theme has shaped the field of American Studies. Seminar considers contributions of scholars working both within disciplines and utilizing genuinely interdisciplinary methods. Students will also develop skills to analyze a wide range of primary materials from an interdisciplinary perspective.

AMST 4500: Senior Seminar
Offered in the fall of senior year, the American Studies Senior Seminar is both a topical seminar (taught by two distinguished members of the American Studies faculty), as well as a workshop where seniors complete their theses. The course culminates in the annual Senior Thesis Symposium, a day of scholarly panels and conversations with our majors center stage.

Four courses in one of the following concentrations:

  • Cultural Products: The Arts, Literature, Thought & Media. This concentration focuses on American literature, arts, media, and though, examining their history and place in American culture and society. Students take courses in literature, film, media, music, the visual arts, the performing arts, popular culture, philosophy, and intellectual history.
  • Diversity and Difference. This concentration takes up the problem of American social and cultural pluralism. Students will consider the place of such categories as race, ethnicity, class, gender, and religion in American history. Students will most likely take courses in literature, philosophy, African-American studies, history, political science, Urban Studies, Women’s Studies, religion, American Catholic Studies, and sociology.
  • Power, Politics, and Institutions. This concentration focuses on American society and institutions, such as politics and religion. Students will primarily take courses in political science, history, sociology, American Catholic Studies, African-American Studies, and Urban Studies.
3 open electives

Disciplinary diversity
Students will be required to demonstrate disciplinary diversity. Courses taken to fulfill concentration and open elective requirements must include one course in each of the following four areas:

  • Literature
  • Art, music, theater, or media
  • Religion or philosophy
  • History or social science

The American Studies minor consists of a total of six courses:
  • AMST 2000: Major Developments in American Culture
  • 5 electives, covering 4 disciplines

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