American Studies

As a Minor

The minor in American Studies is a multidisciplinary program that investigates the content and meaning of American culture within the United States. It combines the insights and methods of all the disciplines in humanities and social studies to examine the United States from the standpoint of history, social and political institutions, literature, and the arts. It asks questions about:

  • The movements and myths of American history
  • American democracy in relation to other nations
  • Slavery shaping American history
  • Native Americans from the Pilgrims to today
  • American identity
  • Ideas, economics, passions, and politics in American foreign policy

Students select a minimum of two courses from one or more of the four categories of electives: Urban Studies, Culture and Society, Public Sphere, and Identity. Students select these courses from at least two different departments among the nine participating departments: Black and Latino Studies, Communication Studies, English, Fine and Performing Arts, History, Modern Languages, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.

In addition, all students take one of the approximately 15 capstone courses in American Studies (AMS 4900). These introduce students to the rationale and methodology of American Studies. Recent topics for capstone courses have included: The European Mind in America; Studying the Modern Civil Rights Movement; and Crossing Borders.

For more information check the current Student Bulletin.


American Studies Program, 646-312-3910
Professor Michael Staub, 646-312-3944

The City University of New York