The American Studies Program engages students in the interdisciplinary study of the culture and society of the United States and the Americas, past and present. We encourage students to cross traditional intellectual boundaries and develop perspectives on American life that are more expansive and critical than those normally found within the limits of a single discipline. Working with a wide array of methods, themes, and materials, students discover first-hand our society's rich and often conflicted history of cultural, racial, and sexual diversity.
The program's location in the restored colonial capital of Virginia offers students ample opportunities for independent work. Field trips to Colonial Williamsburg and other nearby historic sites and museums are an integral part of several courses. Students also regularly pursue internships at other museums and foundations, from the Yorktown foundation to the Smithsonian.
The interdisciplinary nature of our program encourages the kind of personal initiative and creative thinking that gives our majors an advantage later in life, and they pursue a rich variety of careers. A number of our majors have gone on to graduate work in American Studies, History, and English; others have pursued careers in law, business, teaching, and museum fields. An American Studies major is particularly appropriate for students planning careers in law, communications, government, social work, and journalism.
For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.