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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 1001/1901 American Lives   AC
American Studies 1042 Work in America   AC
American Studies 1002 Key Documents in American Civilization    
American Culture – Select one: 3  
American Studies 2011 The Arts in America    
American Studies 2022 Museums and American Culture    
American Studies 2012 Introduction to Material Culture    
American Studies 3011 Photography in America    
American Studies 3012 Film and American Society    
American Studies 3061 Mass Media and American Popular Culture    
American Studies 3013 The Documentary Mode    
American Studies 2120/2900 Topics in American Culture +    
Place in American Life – Select one: 3  
American Studies 2051/2951 American Places: Home, City, Region    
American Studies 2021 Philadelphia Neighborhoods    
American Studies 3022 The City: Urban Design and American Culture    
American Studies 3051/3951 American Frontiers    
American Studies 2001 Tourism in America    
American Studies 2120/2900 Topics in American Culture +    
Diversity in America – Select one: 3  
American Studies 3096 American Woman: Visions and Revisions   WI
American Studies 2096 Asian Diaspora   WI
American Studies 2097 Asian Women in Transition   WI
Change in America – Select one: 3  
American Studies  3041 Contemporary Trends in the American Workplace     
American Studies  2041 Technology and American Culture    
American Studies  3901 Honors Ideal America: Reform, Revolution, and Utopia    
American Studies  3032 Literature and Political Change    
American Studies  3033 Courtroom in American Society    
American Studies  2064 America in the 1950s    
American Studies  3031/3931 Political Protest and Culture in the 60’s    
American Studies  3075 Literature of American Slavery   RS
American Studies  2031 Radicalism in the United States    
American Studies 2032 Critical Moments in the American Past    
American Studies 2065 Global America    
American Studies  2120/2900 Topics in American Culture+     
+Specific subjects change each semester. See course descriptions for information on a particular offering.  American Studies 2120 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 American Studies core courses as well as choices from all other American Studies courses.
American Studies   Electives (select from 2120-4098) 9  
In addition, students must 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
**Students must 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 4098.

All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses. The specific writing-intensive courses required for this major are listed above and are identified by "WI" in the RCI column.

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  

Select six American Studies courses, at least three of which
should be taken from American Studies Core Areas as listed
under "Major Requirements."


Asian American Studies Minor

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 2107 Asian American Experiences   RS
American Studies 1901 Honors American Lives   AC
American Studies 3074 Introduction to Asian American Literature    
American Studies 2096 Asian Diaspora   WI
American Studies 2097 Asian Women in Transition   WI
Select one American Studies course on race or ethnicity (or an alternative
approved by an advisor).
American Studies  2071 Immigrant Experiences in America    
American Studies  2072 Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia    
American Studies  3071 African American Experiences   RS
American Studies 3101 Latino Identity in the U.S.    
Italian  4161 Italian-American Literature & Culture    
Select one Asian Studies course under an Asian Studies or cross-listed number. 
Advisors can help choose from a list of over 60 courses.
Total     18  


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