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B.S. in American Studies

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Program Chair: Bill Vitek

Program Goals
Clarkson’s American Studies major provides students with a historically grounded, multidisciplinary and multicultural approach to the American experience. Through coursework and research in literature, history, politics, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and media, program majors will be introduced to the rhetoric and reality of such American ideals as individual freedom, social equality and material opportunity. The American studies major aims to give students the tools to understand and address many of the pressing issues facing American society in a global, highly interconnected world.

Students majoring in American Studies will:

  • acquire a broadly based understanding of American society and culture built upon a foundation of history, politics and literature.
  • gain an understanding of how to identify a research problem, how to choose the appropriate methodology to investigate the problem, and how to analyze and interpret the data necessary to report on this problem.
  • contribute to the preservation and creation of knowledge via the American Studies Online project.
  • acquire knowledge that places American society and culture in a global context or an international perspective.

Through their American Studies major at Clarkson, students will also gain the ability to:

  • Write clearly and persuasively
  • Speak effectively in a group setting
  • Think critically
  • Understand and analyze complex problems
  • Examine and interpret evidence
  • Organize and synthesize large amounts of information

Requirements *
120 credit hours including:

  • 1 credit Introduction to the Liberal Arts pre-seminar
  • the Humanities/Social Sciences Research Seminar
  • 30 credit hours in American Studies including:
    • the American Studies Online, a one-credit module
    • the American Studies Foundation comprising at least three of the following five courses:
      American Lit I; American History I; American Politics; American Lit II or American History II
    • a concentration of seven courses organized either by discipline or by a theme, an issue, a problem or a period.
    • two courses providing an international or non-United States perspective OR a study abroad experience.

Students majoring in American Studies are required to take a concentration of at least five courses in a pre-professional field, such as pre-law, pre-med, pre-physical therapy, business or communications and media. This pre-professional concentration provides students with opportunities to increase career choices, while at the same time exploring a wide variety of interests through their major.

*Courses taken to fulfill requirements for a Humanities/Social Sciences Major cannot be used to fulfill requirements for a Humanities and Social Sciences Minor.

American Studies Curriculum
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title Cr. Hrs.   Course Title Cr. Hrs.
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar 3     American Studies  
  Math Course (MA180       Foundation Course 3
  recommended) 3   STAT282 Statistics 3
  Science Course 3     Science Course 3
  American Studies       KA Course 3
  Foundation Course 3     Pre-professional  
  Free Elective 3     Concentration or  
FY100 First-Year Seminar 1     Free Elective 3
Hum/SS120 Introducing Liberal         divider
  Arts 1       15
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title Cr. Hrs.   Course Title Cr. Hrs.
  American Studies       Major Course 3
  Foundation Course 3     KA Course  3
  KA Course 3     Pre-professional  
  Pre-professional        Concentration  3
  Concentration 3     Free Elective 3
  Free Electives 6     Free Elective or  
    divider     Internat'l/ Cross  
    15     Cultural Course 3
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title Cr. Hrs.   Course Title Cr. Hrs.
  Major Course or       Major Course or  
  Free Elective 6     Free Elective  6
  KA/UC  3     KA/UC  3
  Pre-professional       Pre-professional  
  Concentration 3     Concentration  3
  Free Elective or        Free Elective or  
  Technology Course  3     Technology Course  3
AS300  American Studies         divider
  Online 1       15
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title Cr. Hrs.   Course Title Cr. Hrs.
Hum or SS480 Research 3     Major Course or  
Pre-professional       Free Elective 6
  Concentration or       Free Electives  7
  Free Elective 3       divider
  KA/UC  3       13
  Major Course or          
  Free Elective 3        
  Free Elective or Internat'l/          
  Cross-Cultural Course 3