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Department of American Studies

Bachelor of Arts in American Studies

Students on Summer 2023, Fall 2023, or Spring 2024 requirements AMSTBA

The Bachelor of Arts in American Studies explores the history, literature, and culture of the United States and the larger Americas from an interdisciplinary perspective. American Studies attracts students with diverse interests who wish to know more about the United States in a comparative, international context. The major provides students with an opportunity to pursue the study of American cultures from a transnational and hemispheric perspective. Courses are designed to examine significant aspects of U.S. institutions, policy, media, and cultural expressions by drawing on a wide range of resources from the social sciences and humanities. The major is excellent preparation for nearly any graduate or professional degree, as well as careers in any number of traditional or nontraditional fields including non-profit organizations, marketing and business, education, public health, journalism, human resources, publishing, the legal profession, social work, politics, academia, and public history, among others.


The major requires at least 30 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.
  1. Introductory Course. One (1) course:
    • AMST-A 100 What Is America?
  2. Intermediate Courses. Three (3) courses:
    • AMST-A 150 Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies
    • AMST-A 200 Comparative American Identities
    • AMST-A 201 U.S. Movements and Institutions
    • AMST-A 202 U.S. Arts and Media
    • AMST-A 203 American Cultures, Global Connectivities
    • AMST-A 204 Race in American Art
    • AMST-A 205 American Radicalism and Dissent
    • AMST-A 275 Indigenous Worldviews in the Americas
    • AMST-A 298 Special Topics in Arts and Humanities for American Studies
    • AMST-A 299 Special Topics in Social and Historical Studies for American Studies
  3. Advanced Courses.
    1. Advanced Courses in American Studies. At least two (2) courses and six (6) credit hours:
      • AMST-A 300 The Image of America in the World
      • AMST-A 305 World War II Internment through Film, History, Art, and Literature
      • AMST-A 325 Empire, Race, and the Environment
      • AMST-A 350 Topics in Interdisciplinary American Studies
      • AMST-A 351 American Studies in Transnational Contexts
      • AMST-A 352 American Documentary Photography
      • AMST-A 397 Foreign Studies in American Studies
      • AMST-A 398 Advanced Topics in Arts and Humanities for American Studies
      • AMST-A 399 Advanced Topics in Social and Historical Studies for American Studies
      • AMST-A 450 Advanced Research Seminar
      • AMST-A 451 Honors Senior Seminar in American Studies
      • AMST-A 452 Honors Thesis in American Studies
      • AMST-E 300 Experiencing American Communities
      • AMST-E 301 U.S. Society and Institutions
      • AMST-E 302 U.S. Arts and Culture
      • AMST-X 370 Service Learning in American Studies
      • AMST-X 390 Readings in American Studies
    2. Advanced Electives. At least four (4) courses and 12 credit hours:
      • Additional courses from the Advanced Courses in American Studies list.
      • AAAD-A 330 African American Cinematic Experience
      • AAAD-A 331 Visual Arts of the Harlem Renaissance
      • AAAD-A 332 Art of the Civil Rights Movement
      • AAAD-A 352 African American Art II: African American Artists
      • AAAD-A 354 Transnational Americas
      • AAAD-A 355 African American History I
      • AAAD-A 356 African American History II
      • AAAD-A 359 Ethnic/Racial Stereotypes in American Film
      • AAAD-A 360 Slavery: Worldwide Perspective
      • AAAD-A 379 Early Black American Writing
      • AAAD-A 380 Contemporary Black American Writing
      • AAAD-A 382 Black Community, Law, and Social Change
      • AAAD-A 386 Black Feminist Perspectives
      • AAAD-A 388 Motown
      • AAAD-A 405 Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, 1954-1974
      • AAAD-A 407 African American and African Protest Strategies
      • AAAD-A 408 Race, Gender, and Class in Cross-Cultural Perspective
      • AAAD-A 430 The Cinema of Africana Women
      • AAAD-A 447 Race, Crime, and Media
      • AAAD-A 452 Historical Issues in Black Education
      • AAAD-A 479 Contemporary Black Poetry
      • AAAD-A 480 The Black Novel
      • AAAD-A 481 Racism and the Law
      • AAAD-A 496 Black Religious Music
      • ANTH-E 320 Indigenous Populations of North America
      • ANTH-P 330 Historical Archaeology
      • ARTH-A 345 American Art to 1913
      • ARTH-A 348 American Architecture
      • ARTH-A 353 Art in America: 1945 to the Present
      • ARTH-A 445 American Art to 1865
      • ARTH-A 446 American Art, 1865-1945
      • ARTH-A 447 Modernism and Anti-Modernism in American Art, 1900-1945
      • CJUS-P 301 Police in Contemporary Society
      • CJUS-P 302 Courts and Criminal Justice
      • CJUS-P 375 American Juvenile Justice System
      • CJUS-P 381 History of Social Control in the United States
      • ENG-L 358 American Literature, 1914-1960
      • ENG-L 359 American Literature, 1960-Present
      • ENG-L 364 Native American Literature
      • ENG-L 374 Ethnic American Literature
      • FOLK-E 345 Hip Hop Music and Culture
      • FOLK-E 394 Survey of African American Music
      • FOLK-E 496 African American Religious Music
      • FOLK-F 351 North American Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music
      • FOLK-F 353 Native American Film and Video
      • FOLK-F 354 African American Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music
      • FOLK-F 356 Chicano Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music
      • GEOG-G 314 Urban Geography
      • GEOG-G 315 Environmental Conservation
      • GEOG-G 323 Geography of Latin America
      • GNDR-G 340 Gender, Geography, Sex, and Space
      • GNDR-G 410 International Feminist Debates
      • GNDR-G 485 Gender and Discourse
      • HISP-S 435 US Latino Literatures
      • HIST-A 300 Issues in United States History
      • HIST-A 301 Colonial America
      • HIST-A 302 Revolutionary America
      • HIST-A 307 American Cultural History
      • HIST-A 309 The South before the Civil War
      • HIST-A 347 American Urban History
      • HIST-A 352 History of Latinos in the United States
      • HIST-A 355 African American History I
      • HIST-A 356 African American History II
      • HIST-A 379 Issues in Modern United States History
      • HIST-A 380 The Vietnam War
      • HIST-A 382 The Sixties
      • HIST-A 383 Rock, Hip Hop, and Revolution: Popular Music in the Making of Modern America, 1940 to the Present
      • HIST-A 384 Antebellum America
      • HIST-A 386 History of the American Home
      • LATS-L 396 Social and Historical Topics in Latino Studies
      • POLS-Y 301 Political Parties and Interest Groups
      • POLS-Y 302 Public Bureaucracy in Modern Society
      • POLS-Y 303 Formation of Public Policy in the United States
      • POLS-Y 304 Constitutional Law
      • POLS-Y 305 Constitutional Rights and Liberties
      • POLS-Y 308 Urban Politics
      • POLS-Y 311 Democracy and National Security
      • POLS-Y 313 Environmental Policy
      • POLS-Y 324 Gender and Politics
      • POLS-Y 325 African American Politics
      • POLS-Y 326 American Social Welfare Policy
      • POLS-Y 329 Racial and Ethnic Politics in the United States
      • POLS-Y 360 United States Foreign Policy
      • POLS-Y 363 Comparative Foreign Policy
      • POLS-Y 367 International Law
      • POLS-Y 376 International Political Economy
      • REL-C 325 Race, Religion, and Ethnicity in the Americas
      • REL-C 330 Evangelical America
      • SOC-S 308 Global Society
      • SOC-S 312 Education and Society
      • SOC-S 315 Work in the New Economy
      • SOC-S 335 Race and Ethnic Relations
  4. Major GPA, Hours, and Minimum Grade Requirements.
    1. Major GPA. A GPA of at least 2.000 for all courses taken in the major—including those where a grade lower than C- is earned—is required.
    2. Major Minimum Grade. Except for the GPA requirement, a grade of C- or higher is required for a course to count toward a requirement in the major.
    3. Major Upper Division Credit Hours. At least 18 credit hours in the major must be completed at the 300–499 level.
    4. Major Residency. At least 18 credit hours in the major must be completed in courses taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.
    5. College Breadth. At least 58 credit hours must be completed in courses from College of Arts and Sciences disciplines outside of the major area.

Major Area Courses

Unless otherwise noted below, the following courses are considered in the academic program and will count toward academic program requirements as appropriate:

  • Any course at the 100–499 level with the AMST subject area prefix—as well as any other subject areas that are deemed functionally equivalent
  • Any course contained on the course lists for the academic program requirements at the time the course is taken—as well as any other courses that are deemed functionally equivalent—except for those listed only under Addenda Requirements
  • Any course directed to a non-Addenda requirement through an approved exception

This program of study cannot be combined with the following:

  • Minor in American Studies (AMSTMIN)
  • Minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAISMIN)
  • Minor in the American Experience (AMEXPMIN)

Exceptions to and substitutions for major requirements may be made with the approval of the unit's Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to final approval by the College of Arts and Sciences.