American Studies

Why American Studies?

• Develop powerful insights into the complex ways that human behavior is shaped by culture
• Cultivate the knowledge base needed to work with diverse populations
• Become a critical thinker, viewer, and writer

Why Wheelock?

• Flexible program allows you to focus on your areas of interest
• Professors work one-on-one with you to address your intellectual interests and professional goals
• Small classes encourage discussion and debate

American Studies examines the culture and history of the United States through a variety of mediums and perspectives. A multicultural viewpoint provides a basis for understanding how America has developed as both a nation and a people. By exploring topics such as race, ethnicity, and gender, you will learn how the concept of America was born and how it continues to evolve.

This major lays the groundwork for becoming a well-educated person and professional ready to work with the diverse groups that make up our society. Our interdisciplinary approach incorporates theories and methods from sociology, psychology, history, and anthropology. Students learn how to analyze literature, art, film, and music within the context of culture.

Program Options

You may choose from one of three focus areas:

  • Popular Culture analyzes how pop culture images and messages shape our society and affect the way we think about the world
  • Race and Ethnic Studies explores the ways that race, racism, and identity have developed historically and affect us today
  • Women's Studies investigates ways of understanding the social construction of gender

American Studies is an arts and sciences major that may be combined with a professional major. American Studies is also available as a minor. In addition, you may choose American Studies for your undergraduate major as part of Wheelock's dual degree program leading to a master's in Child Life.

Sample Courses

  • American Identities
  • Anthropology of American Men
  • Children and Families in American Society
  • Race and Media in America
  • Sociology of Minorities
  • Women, Culture, and Society

Skills You'll Learn

  • Critical thinking
  • Developing and building an argument
  • Deconstructing texts
  • Thoughtful and engaging writing
  • Public speaking and oral presentation

Career Opportunities

American Studies will prepare you for a wide range of careers. By studying the richness and complexity of American culture, your knowledge and insight will be valuable in fields such as:

  • Communications
  • Community development
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Museum research and administration
  • Public policy

Graduate Study

An American Studies major will give you the academic foundation and research skills necessary for many fields of graduate study, such as:

  • American studies
  • History
  • Media studies
  • Political science
  • Race and ethnic studies
  • Sociology
  • Women's studies

inspire a world of good

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