BA in American Studies


American Studies students speaking from her desk in a class


The Bachelor of Arts in American Studies explores an array of topics ranging from music, advertising and film to government policy, science and religion.

Majors also complete elective courses and small, discussion-oriented seminars, culminating in a final senior research project on a topic of their choosing.



Senior Research Seminar


American Studies majors must complete a senior seminar course, during which they produce a substantial capstone paper based on independent, primary-source research. Recent graduates have examined the racial politics of contemporary hip-hop, the political fight against "Donʼt Ask, Donʼt Tell" and the sustainable food movement in the American Christian community.

Note: This seminar is offered only in the fall semester. Students planning to study abroad in the fall of their senior year should take the course in their junior year.

Questions? Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The sign outside the Smithsonian Center for folklore & cultural heritage


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Additional curriculum requirements:

AMST 2010Early American Cultural History
AMST 2011Modern American Cultural History
AMST 3900Critiquing Culture
AMST 3901Examining America
AMST 4500Proseminar in American Studies
Five additional AMST courses, no more than two of which may be at the 1000 level.

Undergraduate Departmental Honors

2 students in an American Studies classroom


Graduating majors may be awarded special honors in American Studies. Majors must receive a grade of A on the senior research essay written for AMST 4500W, maintain a GPA of 3.7 or higher in the major and meet GW’s special honors requirements.