Jun 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Scripps Catalog 
2023-2024 Scripps Catalog

American Studies Major

Requirements for the Major

A major in American Studies requires a minimum of 11 courses including senior thesis. Students develop a thematic focus in consultation with their advisor by the beginning of the junior year.

1. To introduce students to the field of American Studies, students take (one course):

  • AMST103 SC Introduction to American Cultures  a prerequisite course that is team-taught by members of the intercollegiate faculty in the spring semester to introduce the themes, concerns and methodologies of American Studies.

2. To provide a broad knowledge and set of skills in the field, students take (three courses):

  • Two U.S. history courses, at least one of which must contain significant pre-1900 content such as: 

HIST070A SC United States History to 1865 ,or equivalent course: (HIST020 PO , HIST025 PZ , HIST050A AF HIST090 CM HIST114 CM HIST116 CM HIST125 CM  

  •  One course in Africana, Asian American or Chicanx Latinx Studies; or one course on the histories and/or cultures of Native Americans.

3. To provide depth as well as breadth, students take (five courses):

  • AMST180 SC American Studies Seminar  normally taken in the spring of the junior year;
  • Four courses drawn from at least two departments that focus on a specific theme (e.g., Race and Social Justice in the U.S.; the U.S. in a Transnational Context)

4. For their capstone experience in American Studies, students must complete (two courses): 

All students are required to write a senior thesis by enrolling in this two-course, two-credit sequence.  Students will enroll in AMST190 SC , a seminar, in the fall semester. In the spring semester, students enroll in AMST191 SC  and complete the thesis under the direction of their thesis advisor and second reader, at least one of whom must be from the student’s home campus.

Honors Requirements

Students may pursue honors in the American Studies major by fulfilling the following additional requirements:

  1. Maintain a GPA in the major of 3.67.
  2. Receive a grade of A- or better on the thesis.
  3. Successfully defend the thesis in an oral examination before a committee of three members (the thesis committee, plus an additional member).