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Areas of Study

American Studies

United States Constitution

American studies examines the American experiment from an interdisciplinary perspective, based on the liberal arts and sciences. It incorporates the study of economics, history, literature, art, the media, film, urban studies and women’s studies, among other fields. Students read deeply in these areas, and through research learn to think and write critically about the nature of American life.

American studies majors complete common core courses, and then choose electives within the following three tracks:

  • Constitutional studies
  • Humanities
  • Social sciences

You can also minor in American studies.

Core (15 credits)

  • AMST 100 - The American Experiment: Formation of Democratic Life
  • AMST 200 - The American Experiment: Evolution
  • AMST 300 - The American Experiment: Global Influence
  • AMST 490W - Capstone Seminar in American Studies
  • POLS 316 - Constitutional Law

Electives (21 credits)

  • Select one:
    • AMST 330 - Treason in America
    • AMST 335W - Moot Court
    • AMST 350 - Sex, Law, and Society
    • PHIL 425 - The Constitutional Theory
  • Select six:
    • AMST 120 - Encounters with the Constitution
    • AMST 330 - Treason in America
    • AMST 335W - Moot Court
    • AMST 350 - Sex, Law, and Society
    • AMST 390 - American Studies and Travel
    • BUSN 302 - Business Law for the Arts
    • BUSN 351 - Business Law I
    • BUSN 352 - Business Law II [Same as ACCT 352] [Formerly ACCT 350, equivalent]
    • CLST 101 - Classical Roots of American Culture
    • ECON 310 - Economics of the Public Sector [Formerly ECON 302, equivalent]
    • COMM 305 - The First Amendment, Culture and Communication
    • HIST 304 - U.S. Women’s History
    • HIST 305 - History of Gender and Sexuality in the United States
    • HIST 341 - The Long Civil Rights Movement
    • HIST 349 - The Rise and Fall of American Slavery
    • HIST 354 - The American Revolution and Early Republic, 1775-1820
    • HONR 322
    • HONR 323
    • PHIL 205 - The Anatomy of Thought
    • PHIL 321W - Legal Reasoning
    • POLS 240 - The Supreme Court in American Politics
    • POLS 243 - Crime and Punishment in America
    • POLS 320 - Religion and Politics in America
    • POLS 327 - International Law & International
    • POLS 333 - Legislative Politics
    • POLS 344 - The Presidency
    • POLS 347 - Justice, Politics and Policy
    • POLS 359 - American Political Thought
    • POLS 363 - The Judicial Process
    • POLS 368W - Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
    • POLS 375 - Labor Law and Politics
    • RSTD 321 - The Church and the State

Core (12 credits)

  • AMST 100 - The American Experiment: Formation of Democratic Life
  • AMST 200 - The American Experiment: Evolution
  • AMST 300 - The American Experiment: Global Influence
  • AMST 490W - Capstone Seminar in American Studies

Electives (24 credits)

  • Select five from at least two disciplines:
    • AMST 195 - Special Topics
    • AMST 295 - Special Topics
    • AMST 310 - The American Economy in Literature
    • AMST 330 - Treason in America
    • AMST 335W - Moot Court
    • AMST 340 - America at Sea
    • AMST 350 - Sex, Law, and Society
    • AMST 395 - Special Topics
    • AMST 399 - Independent Study in American Studies
    • AMST 495 - Special Topics
    • AMST 499 - Independent Study in American Studies
    • CLST 101 - Classical Roots of American Culture
    • DANC 205 - Classic Jazz Technique [Formerly THEA 145, equivalent]
    • ENGL 315 - Adolescent Literature
    • ENGL 341 - The Invasion of America: Concepts of Americanness
    • ENGL 342 - Financial Fictions and the Rise of Realism
    • ENGL 343 - Postmodern America
    • ENGL 345 - African-American Literature and Culture
    • ENGL 346 - Black Presence and Presentation on the American Stage
    • ENGL 381 - The Roaring Twenties: Film, Literature, and Drama of the Jazz Age
    • ENGL 385 - American Film
    • ENGL 410 - Southern American Literature
    • ENGL 412 - Multicultural American Literature
    • FNAR 372 - Arts in the United States
    • FNAR 375 - Pre-Columbian Art
    • HIST 121 - Early America to the Civil War
    • HIST 122 - Modern America: Reconstruction to Global Power
    • HIST 304 - U.S. Women’s History
    • HIST 305 - History of Gender and Sexuality in the United States
    • HIST 324 - America and the Second World War [Formerly HIST 340, not equivalent]
    • HIST 327 - History on Film
    • HIST 336 - American Foreign Relations
    • HIST 340 - America and the Second World War
    • HIST 341 - The Long Civil Rights Movement
    • HIST 348 - Historical Archaeology
    • HIST 349 - The Rise and Fall of American Slavery
    • HIST 350 - American Indians
    • HIST 351 - American Military History
    • HIST 352 - Colonial North America to 1700
    • HIST 354 - The American Revolution and Early Republic, 1775-1820
    • HIST 355 - Civil War and Reconstruction
    • HIST 356 - The United States in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, 1877-1919
    • HIST 357 - Twentieth Century America, 1920-1960
    • HIST 358 - Twentieth Century America, 1961-Present
    • HIST 372 - History of Virginia
    • HIST 453 - Empires of North America, 1700-1775
    • HONR 322
    • HONR 323
    • MUSC 214 - Jazz History and Literature [Formerly MUSC 408, equivalent]
    • PHIL 312 - American Philosophy
    • PHIL 425 - The Constitutional Theory
    • RSTD 319 - Religion and American Identity
    • RSTD 338 - Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail
    • THEA 346 - History of Musical Theater
    • THEA 361W - Broadway to Hollywood and Back
  • Select two:

    • AMST 120 - Encounters with the Constitution

    • AMST 195 - Special Topics
    • AMST 295 - Special Topics
    • AMST 330 - Treason in America
    • AMST 335W - Moot Court
    • AMST 340 - America at Sea
    • AMST 350 - Sex, Law, and Society
    • AMST 395 - Special Topics
    • AMST 399 - Independent Study in American Studies
    • AMST 495 - Special Topics
    • AMST 499 - Independent Study in American Studies
    • BUSN 351 - Business Law I
    • COMM 320 - Media and Society
    • COMM 326 - Media Audiences
    • COMM 330 - Gender Communication
    • COMM 335 - Rhetoric and Politics
    • COMM 341 - Rhetoric and Social Movements
    • COMM 415 - Rhetoric and Religion
    • COMM 425 - Public Dialogue in America
    • ECON 302 - Economics of the Public Sector
    • ECON 375W - Industrial Organization and Public Policy
    • ECON 475 - Money and Banking
    • HONR 360 - Seminars in Identity and Culture
    • POLS 101 - Power and Politics in America
    • POLS 202 - State and Local Government
    • POLS 240 - The Supreme Court in American Politics
    • POLS 243 - Crime and Punishment in America
    • POLS 316 - Constitutional Law
    • POLS 320 - Religion and Politics in America
    • POLS 323 - American Foreign Policy
    • POLS 333 - Legislative Politics
    • POLS 344 - The Presidency
    • POLS 347 - Justice, Politics and Policy
    • POLS 354 - Political Campaigns and Elections
    • POLS 359 - American Political Thought
    • POLS 363 - The Judicial Process
    • POLS 375 - Labor Law and Politics
    • POLS 382 - Women and Politics
    • POLS 395 - Special Topics
    • POLS 454 - American Political Behavior
    • SOCL 303 - The Family in Transition
    • SOCL 314 - Education, Culture and Society
    • SOCL 316 - Racial and Ethnic Relations
    • SOCL 320 - Sociology of Media and Popular Culture
    • SOWK 368W - Social Policy Analysis
  • Select one:
    • AMST 195 - Special Topics
    • AMST 295 - Special Topics
    • AMST 340 - America at Sea
    • AMST 390 - American Studies and Travel
    • AMST 395 - Special Topics
    • AMST 495 - Special Topics
    • ANTH 377 - Women, Gender, and Culture [Same as SOCL 377]
    • COMM 340 - Intercultural Communication
    • ECON 470 - International Trade and Finance
    • ENGL 320W - Studies in Women and Literature
    • ENGL 425
    • FNAR 377 - Contemporary Art
    • GEOG 308 - The Urbanizing World [Same as SOCL 308]
    • HIST 325 - Cold War Politics and Culture
    • HIST 469
    • HONR 490W - Problems in the Modern World
    • PHIL 315 - Philosophy of Gender
    • POLS 215 - Comparative and International Politics
    • POLS 311W - Comparative Politics
    • POLS 358 - Modern Political Thought
    • POLS 368W - Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
    • POLS 402 - International Relations Theory and World Issues
    • PSYC 320 - Psychology of Gender
    • SOCL 377 - Women, Gender, and Culture [Same as ANTH 377]

Core (12 credits)

  • AMST 100 - The American Experiment: Formation of Democratic Life
  • AMST 200 - The American Experiment: Evolution
  • AMST 300 - The American Experiment: Global Influence
  • AMST 490W - Capstone Seminar in American Studies

Electives (24 credits)

  • Select five from at least two disciplines:
    • AMST 120 - Encounters with the Constitution
    • AMST 195 - Special Topics
    • AMST 295 - Special Topics
    • AMST 330 - Treason in America
    • AMST 335W - Moot Court
    • AMST 340 - America at Sea
    • AMST 350 - Sex, Law, and Society
    • AMST 395 - Special Topics
    • AMST 399 - Independent Study in American Studies
    • AMST 495 - Special Topics
    • AMST 499 - Independent Study in American Studies
    • BUSN 351 - Business Law I
    • COMM 320 - Media and Society
    • COMM 326 - Media Audiences
    • COMM 330 - Gender Communication
    • COMM 335 - Rhetoric and Politics
    • COMM 341 - Rhetoric and Social Movements
    • COMM 415 - Rhetoric and Religion
    • COMM 425 - Public Dialogue in America
    • ECON 302 - Economics of the Public Sector
    • ECON 375W - Industrial Organization and Public Policy
    • ECON 475 - Money and Banking
    • HONR 360 - Seminars in Identity and Culture
    • POLS 101 - Power and Politics in America
    • POLS 202 - State and Local Government
    • POLS 240 - The Supreme Court in American Politics
    • POLS 243 - Crime and Punishment in America
    • POLS 316 - Constitutional Law
    • POLS 320 - Religion and Politics in America
    • POLS 323 - American Foreign Policy
    • POLS 333 - Legislative Politics
    • POLS 344 - The Presidency
    • POLS 347 - Justice, Politics and Policy
    • POLS 354 - Political Campaigns and Elections
    • POLS 359 - American Political Thought
    • POLS 363 - The Judicial Process
    • POLS 375 - Labor Law and Politics
    • POLS 382 - Women and Politics
    • POLS 395 - Special Topics
    • POLS 454 - American Political Behavior
    • SOCL 303 - The Family in Transition
    • SOCL 314 - Education, Culture and Society
    • SOCL 316 - Racial and Ethnic Relations
    • SOCL 320 - Sociology of Media and Popular Culture
    • SOWK 368W - Social Policy Analysis
  • Select two:
    • AMST 195 - Special Topics
    • AMST 295 - Special Topics
    • AMST 310 - The American Economy in Literature
    • AMST 330 - Treason in America
    • AMST 335W - Moot Court
    • AMST 340 - America at Sea
    • AMST 350 - Sex, Law, and Society
    • AMST 395 - Special Topics
    • AMST 399 - Independent Study in American Studies
    • AMST 495 - Special Topics
    • AMST 499 - Independent Study in American Studies
    • CLST 101 - Classical Roots of American Culture
    • DANC 205 - Classic Jazz Technique [Formerly THEA 145, equivalent]
    • ENGL 315 - Adolescent Literature
    • ENGL 341 - The Invasion of America: Concepts of Americanness
    • ENGL 342 - Financial Fictions and the Rise of Realism
    • ENGL 343 - Postmodern America
    • ENGL 345 - African-American Literature and Culture
    • ENGL 346 - Black Presence and Presentation on the American Stage
    • ENGL 381 - The Roaring Twenties: Film, Literature, and Drama of the Jazz Age
    • ENGL 385 - American Film
    • ENGL 410 - Southern American Literature
    • ENGL 412 - Multicultural American Literature
    • FNAR 372 - Arts in the United States
    • FNAR 375 - Pre-Columbian Art
    • HIST 121 - Early America to the Civil War
    • HIST 122 - Modern America: Reconstruction to Global Power
    • HIST 304 - U.S. Women’s History
    • HIST 305 - History of Gender and Sexuality in the United States
    • HIST 324 - America and the Second World War [Formerly HIST 340, not equivalent]
    • HIST 327 - History on Film
    • HIST 336 - American Foreign Relations
    • HIST 340
    • HIST 341 - The Long Civil Rights Movement
    • HIST 348 - Historical Archaeology
    • HIST 349 - The Rise and Fall of American Slavery
    • HIST 350 - American Indians
    • HIST 351 - American Military History
    • HIST 352 - Colonial North America to 1700
    • HIST 354 - The American Revolution and Early Republic, 1775-1820
    • HIST 355 - Civil War and Reconstruction
    • HIST 356 - The United States in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, 1877-1919
    • HIST 357 - Twentieth Century America, 1920-1960
    • HIST 358 - Twentieth Century America, 1961-Present
    • HIST 372 - History of Virginia
    • HIST 453 - Empires of North America, 1700-1775
    • HONR 322
    • HONR 323
    • MUSC 214 - Jazz History and Literature [Formerly MUSC 408, equivalent]
    • PHIL 312 - American Philosophy
    • PHIL 425 - The Constitutional Theory
    • RSTD 319 - Religion and American Identity
    • RSTD 338 - Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail
    • THEA 346 - History of Musical Theater
    • THEA 361W - Broadway to Hollywood and Back
  • Select one:
    • AMST 195 - Special Topics
    • AMST 295 - Special Topics
    • AMST 340 - America at Sea
    • AMST 390 - American Studies and Travel
    • AMST 395 - Special Topics
    • AMST 495 - Special Topics
    • ANTH 377 - Women, Gender, and Culture [Same as SOCL 377]
    • COMM 340 - Intercultural Communication
    • ECON 470 - International Trade and Finance
    • ENGL 320W - Studies in Women and Literature
    • ENGL 425
    • FNAR 377 - Contemporary Art
    • GEOG 308 - The Urbanizing World [Same as SOCL 308]
    • HIST 325 - Cold War Politics and Culture
    • HIST 469
    • HONR 490W - Problems in the Modern World
    • PHIL 315 - Philosophy of Gender
    • POLS 215 - Comparative and International Politics
    • POLS 311W - Comparative Politics
    • POLS 358 - Modern Political Thought
    • POLS 368W - Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
    • POLS 402 - International Relations Theory and World Issues
    • PSYC 320 - Psychology of Gender
    • SOCL 377 - Women, Gender, and Culture [Same as ANTH 377]

Core

  • AMST 100 - The American Experiment: Formation of Democratic Life
  • AMST 200 - The American Experiment: Evolution
  • AMST 300 - The American Experiment: Global Influence

Electives (9 credits)

  • AMST 300 - The American Experiment: Global Influence
  • AMST 310 - The American Economy in Literature
  • AMST 330 - Treason in America
  • AMST 335W - Moot Court
  • AMST 340 - America at Sea
  • AMST 350 - Sex, Law, and Society
  • AMST 390 - American Studies and Travel
  • AMST 395 - Special Topics
  • AMST 399 - Independent Study in American Studies
  • AMST 490W - Capstone Seminar in American Studies
  • AMST 495 - Special Topics
  • AMST 499 - Independent Study in American Studies

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