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  Academic Programs / Liberal Arts

American Studies

Bryant Simon, Director
946 Anderson Hall

941 Anderson Hall

American Studies is an interdisciplinary program that explores the rich complexity of American culture.  Courses focus on such major issues as work, technology, and the role of the media and popular culture in American life; the culture of cities and suburbs; the role of law; the radical tradition; photography; film; and music. American Studies provides students with a solid understanding of the culture of the United States through interdisciplinary courses originating in the program as well as through recommended courses in other departments and disciplines.  The program also offers student internships at a variety of cultural institutions in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. American Studies courses are known as challenging and thought-provoking, and many of them are cross-listed with the Temple University Honors Program. The major program stresses development of reading, writing, and analytical skills that are necessary for successful careers in various professional fields. American Studies majors go on to graduate school, law school, or medical school. They also may take jobs in museums, libraries, business, social services, public relations, and the media.

Requirements for the Major

Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
All majors must complete five American Studies core courses, one out of each group below.
American Biography and Work Select one 3  
American Studies C051 or H091 American Lives   AC
American Studies C062 or H092 Work in America   AC
American Studies 0099 Key Documents in American Civilization    
American Culture – Select one   3  
American Studies 0104 or H194 The Arts in America    
American Studies 0110 Museums and American Culture    
American Studies 0122 Introduction to Material Culture    
American Studies 0125 Photography in America    
American Studies 0126 Film and American Society    
American Studies 0127 Mass Media and American Popular Culture    
American Studies 0150 The Documentary Mode    
Place in American Life – Select one   3  
American Studies 0103 or H195 American Places: Home, City, Region    
American Studies 0128 Philadelphia Neighborhoods    
American Studies 0130 The City: Urban Design, and American Culture    
American Studies 0131 or H196 American Frontiers    
American Studies 0143 Tourism in America    
Diversity in America – Select one   3  
American Studies 0108 or H198 Immigrant Experiences in America    
American Studies R112 African-American Experiences   RS
American Studies W118 or H192 American Woman: Visions and Revisions   WI
American Studies R136 Asian-American Experiences   RS
American Studies 0142 The American Sexual Past    
American Studies 0148 Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia    
American Studies 0151 Asian American History    
American Studies 0152 Asian Diaspora    
American Studies 0153 Asian Women in Transition    
American Studies 0154 Introduction to Asian American Literature    
American Studies H197 Quest for the American Dream   AC
Change in America – Select one   3  
American Studies  0101 Contemporary Trends in American Workplace     
American Studies  0102/H193 Technology and American Culture    
American Studies  0105/H199 Ideal America: Reform, Revolution, and Utopia    
American Studies  0106 Literature and Political Change    
American Studies  0109 Courtroom in American Society    
American Studies  0121 America in the 1950s    
American Studies  0124/H191 Political Protest and Culture in the 60’s    
American Studies  R134 Literature of American Slavery   RS
American Studies  W140/H190 Radicalism in the United States   WI
American Studies 0144 Critical Moments in American Past    
American Studies 0146 Global America    
American Studies  0100 Topics in American Culture+     
+Specific subjects change each semester. See course descriptions for information on a particular offering.  AS 100 may meet one or more of the above requirements with permission of director.
Students must also complete three additional courses in American Studies. These can include choices from
the AS core courses as well as choices from all other American Studies courses.
American Studies   Electives (select from 0100-0399) 9  
In addition, students take at least four courses outside of the major selected in consultation with the American Studies Director and Congruent with an American Studies focus.  We recommend that at least 6 of these credits be in American history and literature.
Open   Electives - American Studies Focus 12  
Capstone course Select one**   3  
American Studies
American Studies
Senior Seminar in American Studies
Senior Independent Study
Total     39  
* Indicates Writing Capstone for the Major
**We urge students to take the Senior Seminar in their final year of study (usually offered in Fall semester). Only in rare circumstances and with special permission can students satisfy the capstone by taking W394.

Distinction in Major

American Studies majors may graduate with distinction in the major if they have a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0

Requirements for the Minor

Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
American Studies  Electives Select six American Studies courses, at least three of which should be taken from different American Studies Core Areas as listed under "Major Requirements."

Asian American Minor

Dr. Kathleen Uno, Coordinator

This interdisciplinary minor focuses on Asian American history, culture, and contemporary issues as well as their Asian roots and American context. The Asian American Minor is six courses (18 s.h.), four in Asian American Studies, one in American Studies, and one Asian Studies course under an Asian Studies or cross listed number, as distributed below. In lieu of taking regular academic courses, students can earn credits through fieldwork and independent study under a professor's guidance. This minor is a useful credential for majors in education, journalism and communication, social administration, health science, social science, humanities, history, pre-law studies, and business fields such as personnel and marketing.

Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
Select four Asian American courses listed or cross listed in American Studies. 12  
American Studies R136 Asian American Experiences   RS
American Studies C051 American Lives: Asian American Lives   AC
American Studies 0154 Introduction to Asian American Literature    
American Studies 0152 or W152 Asian Diaspora   W152: WI
American Studies 0153 or W153 Asian Women in Transition   W153: WI
American Studies 0151 or W151 Asian American History   W151: WI
American Studies 0155
or R155
or W155
Asian American Topics *  
*Courses may focus on specific issues like Filipinos in America, Vietnamese and
Filipinos in Diaspora, Chinatowns, Law and Public Policy.
Select one American Studies course on race or ethnicity (or an alternative
approved by an advisor).
American Studies  0108 Immigrant Experiences    
American Studies  0148 Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia    
American Studies  R112 African American Experiences   RS
American Studies  0137  Italian/American Literature and Culture    
Select one Asian Studies course under an Asian Studies or cross listed number. 
Advisors can help choose from a list of over sixty courses.
Total     18  


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