Graduates have prepared for occupations in federal, state, and local government, law, medicine, politics, journalism, business, and education. Many have entered graduate work in American studies or disciplines in their concentrations. See an advisor for a list of American studies courses that may meet teacher licensure requirements in history and social sciences.
Admission to KU
All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.
Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.
Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.
Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.
Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major
American Studies Core Knowledge and Skills
Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:
|Introduction to American Studies (3)|
|Satisfied by the following:|
|AMS 100||Introduction to American Studies||3|
|or AMS 101||Introduction to American Studies, Honors|
|American Identities (3)|
|Satisfied by the following:|
|AMS 110||American Identities||3|
|or AMS 112||American Identities, Honors|
|The United States in Global Context (3)|
|Satisfied by the following:|
|AMS 332||The United States in Global Context||3|
|or SOC 332||The United States in Global Context|
|Theory and Method (6-7)|
|Satisfied by the following:|
|AMS 360||Theory and Method||3|
|Select one additional course that explores methodological and theoretical approaches used in American studies. See your advisor for appropriate options or select from the following:||3-4|
|Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses|
|The Third World: Anthropological Approaches|
|Theory in Anthropology|
|The Historian's Craft|
|Introduction to Political Theory|
|Political Science Methods of Inquiry|
|Introduction to Public Policy|
|Contemporary Feminist Political Theory|
|History of Feminist Theory|
|Contemporary Literary Theory|
|Topics in Political Theory: _____|
|Statistics in Psychological Research|
|Research Methods in Psychology|
|Introduction to Social Research|
|Elementary Statistics and Data Analysis|
|Introduction to Feminist Social Theory|
|Psychology of Women|
American Studies Required Electives/Emphases
Majors must select 1 of 7 special emphases or design their own. Self-designed emphases must be approved in their entirety by an American studies advisor and the undergraduate studies director before implementation. Meet with your academic advisor to determine course options that best meet your interests in this option. Prepare for this advising session by completing a key word search in the Schedule of Classes.
- American Cultural Studies. Satisfied by 4 courses, 3 of which are at 300+ level (possible key words: American culture).
AMS 310 American Culture, 1600-1876 3 AMS 312 American Culture, 1877 to the Present 3 AMS 576 Cultural Geography of the United States 3 AMS 650 Jazz and American Culture 3 ENGL 316 Introduction to Major American Writers 3 ENGL 320 American Literature I 3 ENGL 322 American Literature II 3 ENGL 336 Jewish American Literature and Culture 3 ENGL 337 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature 3 ENGL 338 Introduction to African-American Literature 3 ENGL 339 Introduction to Caribbean Literature 3 FMS 380 American Popular Culture of: _____ 3 FMS 621 American Film Criticism 3 HA 370 American Art 3 HA 582 American Art 1860-1900: Gilded Age 3 HIST 310 American Culture, 1600-1876 3 HIST 312 American Culture, 1877 to the Present 3 HIST 313 Conspiracies and Paranoia in American History 3 HIST 347 Environmental History of North America 3 HIST 353 Indigenous Peoples of North America 3 HIST 360 Science and Religion 3 HIST 631 The Contemporary Afro-American Experience 3 LAA 505 U.S. Latino and Latin American Film and Literature 3 REL 339 History of Religion in America 3 THR 327 African-American Theatre and Drama 3 THR 380 Popular Culture: _____ 3
Race Ethnicity. Majors must complete the following (possible key words: race, ethnicity, stereotyping, cultural diversity, slavery, ethnic relations, black experience):
Race and Ethnicity Group A (3) Select one of the following from AAAS, AMS, ENGL, or HIST at the junior/senior level (300+): 3 The Black Experience in the U.S. Since Emancipation The Afro-American Family: A Psychological Approach Topics and Problems in African and African-American Studies American Racial and Ethnic Relations Global Ethnic and Racial Relations Jewish American Literature and Culture Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature Introduction to African-American Literature Introduction to Caribbean Literature American Indian Literature: _____ Indigenous Peoples of North America Slavery in the New World The Contemporary Afro-American Experience Race and Ethnicity Group B (3) Select one of the following from ANTH, PSYC, or SOC at the junior/senior level (300+): 3 Fundamentals of Cultural Anthropology The Varieties of Human Experience Cultural Diversity in the United States Stereotyping and Prejudice Across Cultures Urban Sociology American Racial and Ethnic Relations Global Ethnic and Racial Relations Ethnicity in the United States: _____ Race and Ethnicity Required Electives (0) Satisifed by 2 electives, at least 1 at the 300+ level, from the following related to race and ethnicity: AAAS, AMS, ANTH, ENGL, HIST, POLS, SOC, WS.
Visual Culture. Satisifed by 4 courses from at least 2 departments, 3 of which are at the 300+ level (possible key words: American documentary, American art, American theater, American film).
AMS 580 American Art 3 AAAS 585 Race and the American Theatre 3 AAAS 611 History of the Black Power Movement 3 ANTH 301 Anthropology Through Films 3 HA 370 American Art 3 HA 525 Aegean Archaeology and Art 3 HA 581 American Art to 1860: Inventing a Nation 3 HA 582 American Art 1860-1900: Gilded Age 3 FMS 310 History of the Silent Film 3 FMS 311 History of the American Sound Film 3 FMS 314 History of African-American Images in Film 3 FMS 317 Race and the American Documentary 3 FMS 380 American Popular Culture of: _____ 3 MUSC 303 The Film Musical 3 THR 327 African-American Theatre and Drama 3 THR 380 Popular Culture: _____ 3 THR 528 History of U.S. Theatre and Drama 3
Local and Global. Majors must complete the following:
Local and Global Group A (3) Satisfied by 1 of the following courses from AMS, ENGL, HIST, GEOG, SOC at the junior/senior level (300+): 3 Global Ethnic and Racial Relations Introduction to Caribbean Literature Readings in the Holocaust East Asia Geography of Latin America Modern Africa Atlantic Societies, 1450-1800: A Comparative History of European Colonization The Holocaust in History The Korean War, 1950-1953 Invention of the Tropics Tequila, Tango, Carnival, City From Mao to Now: China's Red Revolution Introduction to History of Japan: Anime to Zen Slavery in the New World Ethnicity in the United States: _____ Cross-Cultural Sociology Local and Global Group B (3) Satisifed by 1 of the following courses from EALC, LAA, AAAS at the junior/senior level (300+): 3 Asian Literature in Translation: _____ Cultural History of Korea Topics in East Asian Languages and Cultures: _____ Indigenous Traditions of Latin America Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Latin America U.S. Latino and Latin American Film and Literature Contemporary Haiti African Studies In: _____ Islamic Literature Islam Local and Global Required Electives (0) Satisfied by 2 electives, at least 1 at the 300+ level, from the following courses related to race and ethnicity: AAAS, AMS, EALC, ENGL, GEOG, HA, HIST, LAA, POLS, SPAN.
Popular Culture. Satisfied by 4 courses from at least 2 departments, 3 of which are at the 300+ level (possible key words: popular culture, American culture, popular literature, sport, conspiracies).
AMS 344 Case Study in American Studies: _____ 3 EALC 365 Japanese People through Films 3 EALC 565 Popular Images in Japanese Culture, Literatures, and Films 3 ENGL 325 Recent Popular Literature 3 ENGL 506 Science Fiction 3 HIST 310 American Culture, 1600-1876 3 HIST 312 American Culture, 1877 to the Present 3 HIST 313 Conspiracies and Paranoia in American History 3 FMS 380 American Popular Culture of: _____ 3 MUSC 299 American Popular Song 3 MUSC 303 The Film Musical 3 SOC 364 Society, Popular Culture, and the Media 3 SOC 365 Society, Popular Culture, and the Media, Honors 3 SOC 629 Sociology of Sport 3 SOC 634 The Sociology of Culture 3 THR 327 African-American Theatre and Drama 3 THR 380 Popular Culture: _____ 3 WGSS 513 Modern American Women in Film and Literature 3
Jazz Studies. Satisfied by 4 courses from at least 2 departments, 3 of which are at the 300+ level (possible key words: jazz, music, American poetry, American pop culture):
AMS 650 Jazz and American Culture 3 MUSC 298 Introduction to Jazz 3 MUSC 299 American Popular Song 3 MUSC 300 Jazz Styles, 1920-1980 3
Gender and Sexuality. Satisfied by 4 courses from at least 2 departments, 3 of which are at the 300+ level (possible key words: gender, sexuality, body image, sex roles, intimate relationships):
AMS 511 History of American Women--1870 to Present 3 ANTH 359 Anthropology of Sex 3 HIST 531 History of American Women--1870 to Present 3 PHIL 504 Philosophy of Sex and Love 3 PSYC 410 Intimate Relationships 3 REL 374 Religious Perspectives on Selfhood and Sexuality 3 SOC 522 American Racial and Ethnic Relations 3 SOC 352 Sociology of Sex Roles 3 SOC 617 Women and Health Care 3 WGSS 333 The Politics of Physical Appearance 3 WGSS 440 Communication and Gender 3 WGSS 468 Psychology of Women 3 WGSS 562 Women and Politics 3 WGSS 563 Gender, Sexuality and the Law 3 WGSS 653 Gender, War, and Peace 3 WGSS 660 Human Reproduction: Culture, Power, and Politics 3
Religion. Satisfied by 4 courses from at least 2 departments, 3 of which are at the 300+ level (possible key words: American religion):
AAAS 300 African Traditional Religion and Thought 3 AAAS 522 African and African-American Religion:_____ 3 AMS 290 Religion in American Society 3 ANTH 484 Magic, Science, and Religion 3 ANTH 666 Anthropology of Religion 3 HIST 360 Science and Religion 3 HIST 373 The Supreme Court and Religious Issues in the United States 3 PHIL 350 Philosophical Issues in Religion 3 PSYC 581 Psychology of Religion 3 REL 330 Native American Religions 3 REL 339 History of Religion in America 3 REL 671 American Communes 3 SOC 626 Religion and Society 3
Students considering graduate study should take at least 2 courses beyond major requirements. These should be selected in consultation with a faculty advisor.
Majors must complete 1 of the following:
- Research Seminar in: _____. Satisfied by AMS 550.
- By application, advanced students may pursue a focused project of research or service under the supervision of a faculty member. Satisfied by AMS 551, AMS 552, or AMS 553.
American Studies Major Hours & Major GPA
While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:
Satisfied by 30 hours of major courses.
Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.
Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 18 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.
Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.
Major Junior/Senior Major Attempts
Summary includes American Studies junior/senior (300+) hours attempted, including F's and incompletes.
American studies majors are encouraged to take a second major in a related field, such as history, English, political science, sociology, anthropology, religious studies, African and African-American studies, economics, or art history. Because the major is interdisciplinary, a second major is relatively easy to achieve during the usual 4 years of undergraduate study.
Opportunities for Original Projects
By application, advanced students may pursue a focused project of research or service under the supervision of a faculty member. AMS 551, AMS 552, and AMS 553 function as independent research and service project electives.
A sample 4-year plan for the BA degree in American Studies can be found here: American Studies, or by using the left-side navigation.
A sample 4-year plan for the BGS degree in American Studies can by found here: American Studies, or by using the left-side navigation.
An honors program allows seniors with overall grade-point averages of 3.25 to do independent work under faculty direction toward completion of an honors thesis. Enrollment in AMS 553 is required. By special arrangement, students may design independent study programs to meet concentration requirements. Graduation with honors is awarded to students who meet College honors requirements, which, in addition to the above overall KU GPA and course requirements includes a major GPA of 3.5.