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American Studies: BS, BA

American Studies

The American studies program offers students a sophisticated understanding of the issues, histories, and relationships that shape North American culture, past and present. With focus areas in the American West, Canadian and Mexican Borderlands, American history, literature, folklore, creative non-fiction, studies in visual culture, and the environment, the American studies program allows students to forge a plan of coursework that crosses both geographical and historical boundaries. Though housed in the English Department, students majoring in American studies will be exposed to a number of classes in other areas throughout the university. Students must also complete an 18-credit Area of Focus (which may also fulfill minor requirements) in an approved subject from the arts, humanities, or social sciences.

This degree can lead to a number of professional careers in museums, law, government, state and national park services, public arts, humanities, nonprofit organizations, and academic settings. In order to help students achieve their career goals, the American studies program provides a number of internship opportunities in nearly every field of study, both nationally and internationally.

Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.

With a degree in American studies, students may be qualified for the following careers:

  • Education
  • Researcher
  • Writer
  • Editor
  • Information management
  • Museum work
  • Librarian
  • Law work
  • Legislative staff
  • Work in government offices
  • Insurance work
  • Stock analysis

Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the American studies program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.75 total GPA for admission to this major.

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Program Requirements

Students are required to choose two cognate areas from creative writing, folklore, history, American literature, nature and environment, political science, or sociology and anthropology. They must take nine credits from one cognate and 12 credits from the other, totaling 21 credits.

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Folklore Society: This is an association of people who study and communicate knowledge about folklore throughout the world. Its more than 2,200 members and subscribers are scholars, teachers, and libraries at colleges and universities; professionals in arts and cultural organizations; and community members involved in folklore work.

American Studies Association: This is the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history. Chartered in 1951, the American Studies Association now has 5,000 individual members along with 2,200 library and other institutional subscribers. Together, these members represent many fields of inquiry, such as history, literature, religion, art and architecture, philosophy, music, science, folklore, ethnic studies, anthropology, material culture, museum studies, sociology, government, communications, education, library science, gender studies, popular culture, and many others.

Western States Folklore Society: The Western States Folklore Society is committed to the study of regional, national, and international folklore in all its aspects. Anyone interested in folklore and folklife is invited to become a member.

Phi Alpha Theta: This honor society aims to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. Phi Alpha Theta seeks to bring students, teachers, and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by their members in a variety of ways.

Sigma Tau Delta: As the honor society for English majors, Sigma Tau Delta allows its members to have the opportunity to share their love of literature and linguistics with like-minded peers, participate in rewarding activities, and be recognized for their accomplishments. The members can also apply, or in some cases instantly qualify, for one or more of the society's numerous awards and scholarships.

Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.

Learning Suite: The Learning Suite is comprised of two student computer labs: the Teaching Lab and the Open-Access Lab. The Learning Suite strives to foster an environment where communication can develop between students, instructors, and their audiences. It supports communication as any expression through the medians of written text, graphics, sound, and still and moving images, and updates its technology to provide as much support as possible for these forms of communication.

Writing Center: The Writing Center provides tutoring services for students across the university with either face-to-face or online help, allowing them to implement and improve upon concepts introduced in class. Students can work as tutors in the writing center which will help them gain experience in writing. Graduate instructors in the English Department are required to work two hours each week in the Writing Center.



Academic Advising

Susan Parkinson
Office: MAIN 106
Phone: (435) 797-3883

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