Students should have a strong interest in American culture and history. This can include the visual arts, music, and popular culture, as well as social movements and politics in any time period of U.S. history. Many students also have great interest in how America fits into the larger global picture. Curiosity about different parts of American culture and a willingness to explore new areas are essential. A desire to communicate ideas in writing is important. This major helps develop skills in connecting information, writing strong arguments, and reading for both fine detail and the big picture.

Admission into the Major

Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). Students can declare a major by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the Student tab of myBama.

Special Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to complete internships in a variety of settings. Students should contact the department for more information.

Students earning the bachelor of arts (BA) degree with a major in American studies must complete all University, College and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements, all requirements for an approved minor and other sufficient credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

More InformationHours
Major Courses
AMS 150American Pop Culture (Fall Only)3
AMS 151America and the World (Spring Only)3
Select one of the following:3
Southern Studies
Intro to Western Studies
Dirty Jobs
Native American Studies
AMS 231Contemporary America3
AMS 492American Topic Seminar3
AMS electives 400 level 16
AMS elective 300 or 400 level3
AMS electives any level6
Credit Hours Subtotal: 30
Ancillary Courses
Grades in ancillary courses are not computed into the major GPA. The major in American studies requires the successful completion of the following courses outside the major:
HY 103 or American Civilization to 18653
HY 107 Honors Am Civ to 1865
HY 104 or Am Civ Since 18653
HY 108 Honors Am Civ Sc 1865
Select one of the following:3
American Literature
Honors American Literature
American Literature II
Honors American Literature II
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Total Hours39

Grade Point Average

A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for completion of the degree. Please see the Grades and Grade Points section of this catalog for an explanation on grade point average calculations.

Upper-level Residency

A minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.

Required Minor

This major requires the completion of a minor.

Additional Major Requirements

Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all University, College, major and minor requirements. However, each student must meet with an adviser in the major department for academic planning and be approved for registration each semester. College advisers are also available for additional assistance with minor, College and University requirements.


Unless otherwise stated, the prerequisite for 300-level AMS courses is six hours in American studies or permission of the instructor, and the prerequisite for 400-level AMS courses is nine hours in American studies or permission of the instructor.

Many career opportunities exist for American Studies majors. Many students attend law school, library school, or pursue advanced degrees. American Studies majors teach in secondary schools, junior colleges, and universities and work for historical commissions, arts alliances, museums, libraries, and the private sector.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Recent graduates have accepted jobs in libraries, museums, student services, tourism, secondary education, junior college teaching, advertising, public relations, journalism, and labor relations.

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Jobs held by alumni include attorney; university  trustee; university external affairs and development director; school counselor; principal; museum sales manager; museum consultant; public relations specialist; library collection curator; special collections librarian; public television production manager; fiction and biography author; popular music critic; publishing account executive; arts alliance programs director; community celebration and documentation coordinator; educational programmer; Jessie Ball DuPont Fund executive director; advertising website developer; public health counselor; Department of Labor wage and hour investigator; architectural historian; congressional press secretary.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center