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For Prospective Students

Why We're Different

Understanding America may be more important now than ever before in our nation’s history

Critical thinking and analytical writing are the hallmarks of our courses

Our interdisciplinary program draws from the diversity of resources across William & Mary

Our students pursue careers across the spectrum

Our American Studies students engage with the complex and diverse histories and cultures that shape the United States and the Americas. In seminars, independent studies, and collaborative projects, students and faculty extend the boundaries of traditional disciplines and of what “America” means.

Our graduate students  work closely with their advisors to develop a program of courses and independent work that best reflects their interests.

Degree Programs

Core courses emphasize interdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives. Additional courses explore history, literature, anthropology, art history, sociology, gender and sexuality, Africana studies, music, theatre, and dance. See the Undergraduate Catalog to explore the complete list of American Studies courses.


Our location in the restored colonial capital of Virginia offers ample opportunity to learn about the evolution of American life. Field trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, slave plantations, and other nearby historic sites and museums are an integral part of several courses. Students also intern at museums and foundations, from the Yorktown Foundation to the Smithsonian. We encourage study abroad, civic engagement within and outside the United States, and participation in the Washington, D.C. Program. Two examples of how our students do research with faculty that engages the local community:


The interdisciplinary nature of our program encourages the kind of personal initiative and creative thinking that gives our majors a career advantage. Our graduates work in law, new technologies, business, teaching, museum fields, and private and public media. Many have gone on to graduate work in American Studies, History, English, and Art History.

Talk to Us

Want to know more? Our students and faculty want to connect with you.

  • Get an inside look: contact a current American Studies major
  • Undergraduate program contacts: [[cfmcgo, Professor Charlie McGovern, Director of Undergraduate Studies]]
  • Graduate program: contact [[hrosen, Professor Hannah Rosen, Director of Graduate Studies]]
  • Program director: contact [[ldmeye, Professor Leisa D. Meyer]]
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