American Studies


The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA and a BGS, as well as a graduate certificate, a MA, and a PhD in American Studies, an interdisciplinary program in which students think critically about the many institutional and cultural meanings of America, popular culture, and society. You will be studying such topics as film, jazz, literature, visual culture, gender, race and religion.  American Studies investigates America in the past and present and considers the profound impact of diversity on society and addresses differential power structures in American life.

American Studies Department website

Sample of Related Skills 

  • Encourage an appreciation and respect for cultural diversity in societies
  • Understand the diversity of people, cultures, and experiences that have shaped the past and present United States
  • Promote greater equality for all, regardless of sexual preference or socioeconomic status 
  • Promote justice and civic engagement
  • Organize and lead policy changes
  • Navigate difficult national conversations concerning ethnic and race relations 

Popular Career Paths 

Education: Involves a wide range of possibilities including elementary education all the way up the Higher education professor. Communication skills are very important in this career path. 
 
Writing: Writers and editors traditionally with an American Studies degree focus on historical books, editing governmental documents, or journalism as a career path 
 
Law: There are several options within this career path including becoming a lawyer, paralegal, or policy maker at all levels of government. Usually certification and more education are needed to follow this career path. 

Research: The ability to utilize your analytical skills within such places as museums, all levels of government, and historical organizations. 

Business: The ability to be able to read and understand historical trends is very important in most businesses, especially those that deal with markets of high demand. Usually you acquire many skill sets within the business profession including advertising, marketing, and business communication. 

Library Science: Being able to handle and process documents and archiving them in an organizational fashion is the basics of what this career field offers. Attention to detail is the most important part of the career. 

Explore More Career Paths 

Jobs to Consider

Places to Seek Employment 

  • Community Colleges
  • Corporate Businesses
  • Historical Organizations
  • Visitors Bureaus
  • Granting Agencies
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation 
  • Public Relations Firms
  • Law Firms
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • TV/Radio/Print News Agencies
  • Public and Private Universities
  • Publishing Companies
  • Insurance Companies
  • Public and Private Middle/High Schools
  • Federal, State and Local Government Agencies

Job and Internship Search Resources

  • American Alliance of Museums - Resources related to managing a career in museums 
     
  • American Historical Association - Job and career information for historians and PhD programs to apply for  
     
  • American Library Association - Scholarships, education, and employment links for students interested in a career as a librarian 
     
  • The Heritage Foundation - Links to several positions available within this research foundation 
     
  • Internships USA - Lists of internships by industry including Washington Internships in Law and Policy, The Human Rights Internship Book, and The Museum Internship Book 
     
  • Smithsonian Institute Internships - Gives information on what internships are available, how to apply, and the experience they expect you to get out of an internship at the Smithsonian Institute 
     
  • The Urban Institute - The Urban Institute is a non partisan economic and social policy research organization and offers internships and job opportunities for those interested