American Studies


MAJOR: The American Studies major consists of a minimum of 10 courses (40 units) to include History 101 or 102 (or their equivalent), ENGL 189 or 289 (or their equivalent), AMST 290, 390, and 490, and five other courses selected in consultation with an advisor from the American Studies faculty. Two of the five courses are required to be in American Studies. They include AMST 240, 242, 270, 272, 280, and 295. Courses acceptable from other departments include 289, 356. Education 213, 215. History 206, 277, 307, 312, 395. Politics 208, 209, 362. Religious Studies 240, 245, 347. Sociology 350. Consulting with an American Studies advisor is essential for successful completion of the major.

MINOR: Five courses (20 units) to include AMST 290 or 390, History 101 or 102, ENGL 189 or 289 and two other courses in American Studies. They include AMST 240, 242, 270, 272, 280, and 295.

WRITING REQUIREMENT: Students majoring in American Studies will satisfy the final component of Occidental College's college-wide writing requirement by successfully completing American Studies 290 and 390 (or their equivalent) with a grade of B- or higher. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major. See the college writing requirement and consult the department chair for additional information.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT: Completion of a paper and a presentation on a topic in the student's area of emphasis as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the senior seminar (AMST 490). Research proposals for the senior project are due October 1 of the senior year.

HONORS: Students meeting college requirements for honors may apply for admission to the program by submitting a written proposal for an honors thesis by October 1 of their senior year. Those accepted may register for American Studies 499 during the fall or spring semester of the senior year; the thesis should be completed by the end of the senior year. In general it is expected that honors students will also take American Studies 490. For further information see the Honors Program and the department chair.

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  • Location: Swan Hall