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.
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.
|AMS 150||American Pop Culture (Fall Only)||3|
|AMS 151||America and the World (Spring Only)||3|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Intro to Western Studies|
|Native American Studies|
|AMS 231||Contemporary America||3|
|AMS 492||American Topic Seminar||3|
|AMS electives 400 level 1||6|
|AMS elective 300 or 400 level||3|
|AMS electives any level||6|
|Credit Hours Subtotal:||30|
|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 1865||3|
|HY 107||Honors Am Civ to 1865|
|HY 104 or||Am Civ Since 1865||3|
|HY 108||Honors Am Civ Sc 1865|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Honors American Literature|
|American Literature II|
|Honors American Literature II|
|Credit Hours Subtotal:||9|
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.
A minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.
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.