American Studies Major

More specific than the IDS major, but following a similar structure, the AMST major helps students focus on interdisciplinary topics that are distinctive of the United States and broader Americas. For example, one recent student project in AMST focused on racial imagery in SEC football, and another on the presentation of the history of Japanese internment in US high school textbooks. The AMST major follows the same structure of faculty advising and frame course training as the IDS major, except that AMST 201 Introduction to American Studies is required of all AMST majors. Several affiliated Emory faculty in departments outside the ILA are trained in American studies, reflecting the fact that AMST is a recognized subfield within interdisciplinary studies.

IDS and AMST are the only majors at Emory University that allow students to structure their own program of study around a field of interest that they themselves define:

  • faculty co-advisers help you identify course requirements unique to you
  • courses drawn from departments across Emory
  • solid training in writing and independent research
  • senior project drawing on two or more disciplines you have studied

Undergraduate interdisciplinary study proceeds on the hypothesis that some, if not all, subjects require methodologies, evidence, or texts drawn from more than one discipline, if they are to be understood deeply. Four pillars structure each student's experience in the undergraduate programs of the ILA: 

  • an informed perspective on the history, interrelationship, and contested nature of disciplinary boundaries, specifically with reference to social structures and debates surrounding education and higher education
  • a focus on writing as a crucial dimension of fully engaged reading, understanding, and public scholarship
  • vibrant co-teaching as a model and embodiment of interdisciplinary inquiry and learning at the undergraduate level
  • public scholarship—understood as the dissemination or application of the research to a public that extends beyond the academic student-professor relationship, either to the broader Emory community or, beyond Emory, to publics in Atlanta or broader society

Recent IDS and AMST student projects have included studies of:

  • 21st-century African American student activism at Emory University (AMST)
  • contemporary reception and valuation of science among native American peoples (IDS)
  • socioeconomic determinants of health in Georgia counties (IDS)
  • social entrepreneurship in Latin America (IDS)
  • the role of political advertising in US presidential campaigns (AMST)

And there have been many others.

Smiling IDS major

Resources for Students

Get started by selecting one of the options below to learn more about the program requirements or reach out to ask questions.