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AMST major Erin Oquindo and Dr Kim Loudermilk

American Studies


The AMST major focuses on interdisciplinary topics distinctive of the United States and broader Americas. American studies is a recognized subfield within interdisciplinary studies.

Examples of previous student projects:

  • Racial imagery in SEC football
  • Presentation of the history of Japanese internment in US high school textbooks

The AMST major is for students who:

  • Are independently minded with interests broader than a single discipline
  • Are looking for a way to combine two or three particular disciplinary interests
  • Are motivated shape their own educational experience
  • Want to pursue significant, scholarly research that is unique and distinctive
  • Seek intensive faculty advising

Major Requirements

The AMST major requires 44 credits (at least 12 courses of 3 or more credits each).

These credits are divided into two categories:

  1. Frame Courses and
  2. Concentration Courses.

 The requirements of the AMST major are outlined in further detail in our handbook for majors.

Handbook for American Studies & Interdisciplinary Studies Majors

The requirements of the AMST major are outlined in further detail in the ILA Handbook.

Writing Intensive Examples of Interdisciplinary Study

  • AMST 201W
  • One of the following 200-level continued writing courses (ENGRD 223 Rhetorical Grammar co-requisite):
    • IDS 200W
    • IDS 201-OX
    • IDS 205W
    • IDS 216W or IDS 216 or IDS 216-OX
Writing Intensive Intermediate Interdisciplinary Study
  • One 300-level course on cultural theory

Capstone Experience

  • Junior Year - IDS 390 Interdisciplinary Research Design
  • Senior Year - AMST 490 Senior Seminar
  • Senior Year - AMST 499R Senior Research AMST 495RW Honors Research

  • List designed in consultation with faculty advisors
  • Must be cohesive, rigorous and provide adequate grounding in 2 or 3 relevant disciplines
  • Must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)
  • Prepare a student to carry out research into an interdisciplinary question
  • Provide skills that enable a student to write a senior thesis that demonstrates interdisciplinary research
  • Can be revised as necessary with a written request to the DUS
  • Skills and research culminate in the required AMST senior thesis
Senior Thesis

All AMST majors are required to complete a senior project in the form of a capstone or honors thesis. The project synthesizes a student's course of study. It demonstrates a student's ability to organize complex ideas, using the skills and research launched in their course of study. Senior theses frequently involve scholarly research, but can be composed of other forms of scholarship, such as artistic expression or broader public engagement.

More details can be found on page 8 of the ILA Handbook.

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Faculty Advising
All majors in the ILA work closely with the DUS and faculty advisors over the course of their academic career. Since the ILA is interdisciplinary in principle, our majors are advised by faculty both in and outside the ILA.
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Research Credit
Capstone majors must takeAMST 499R Senior Research (1-3 credits) in the spring of their senior year, earning credit for work on the capstone thesis. Honors candidates must take AMST 495RW Honors Research.
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