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 major 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 major in American Studies strives toward a balance of flexibility and structure. Students are allowed a great deal of freedom in their course selection within a basic framework of required course types and a declared area of concentration. The flexibility and small size of the major permits undergraduates to devise an interdisciplinary academic program best suited to their individual needs and academic interests. The American Studies major can often be completed with a second liberal arts major such as English, History, Sociology, or Political Science.
Points of Pride
- Founded in 1964, Purdue’s American Studies program is one of the oldest in the country. Graduates of the program currently teach at Harvard University, University of New Orleans, Sam Houston State University and University of Wisconsin-Platteville, among others.
- 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.
- Thirty 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 tie and focus: four current faculty have held Fulbright Scholarships and the program has an ongoing partnership with The American Studies program at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China
- The American Studies program offers study across and between colleges.