School of Interdisciplinary Studies American StudiesCollege of Liberal Arts

American Studies

American Studies introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of America as a place, a political and social idea, a set of values and traditions, and a people. The program provides students with the opportunity to examine America through the diversity of its ideas, texts, objects, institutions, practices, and histories as well as the complex social and political relationships that have shaped and continue to shape the world to which they belong. The interdisciplinary emphasis of American Studies allows students to explore the nation's complexity and the dynamics of its national culture and countless subcultures from multiple vantage points and through multiple media. American Studies students have the opportunity to showcase their research, creative work and community engagement, while networking with internationally-known scholars at the annual student-organized academic conference held on campus each spring.

As a major, American Studies offers you the freedom to create an academic path within a framework of required courses and a concentration area. The flexibility and small size of the major permits undergraduates to devise an interdisciplinary academic program best suited to their individual goals and academic interests. The American Studies major is an attractive and practical second major, or complimentary minor, for students already majoring in English, History, Sociology, or Political Science.

Points of Pride

  • With over 130 courses from which to choose, the American Studies major offers self-directed students the chance to integrate theories, practices, and content from over sixteen disciplines on the Purdue campus.
  • Founded in 1964, Purdue's American Studies program is one of the oldest in the country. Affiliated faculty members from over ten departments and programs share a focus and commitment to the American Studies program and its students.
  • Purdue American Studies has a strong international presence: four current faculty have held Fulbright Scholarships (from Germany to the Philippines) and the program has an ongoing partnership with the American Studies program at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.

Skill Sets

  • Interdisciplinary Thinking and Training
  • Effective Writing Skills
  • Critical Analysis Skills
  • Research and Information Management Skills
  • Media Literacy and Cultural History
  • Creativity and Curiosity

Career Paths

  • Education
  • Law
  • Business
  • Public Policy
  • Government
  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • Material Culture, Museum and Archival Studies
  • Public and Private Research
  • Many other positions in business/management, not necessarily related to the major but based on graduate's global awareness and broad-based liberal arts skill set.

For more information, contact Rayvon Fouché, Director of American Studies.

Course Information

Purdue Admissions Website

American Studies Major

American Studies Minor

AMST News and Events

Giving to American Studies

American Studies

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