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Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies in American Studies

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First- and Second-Year Preparation

Students planning to major in American studies should take AMS 100 and AMS 110 during their first and second years. Students should take AMS 360 no later than the first semester of the third year. As soon as a student decides that American studies is a possible major, he or she should schedule an appointment with the undergraduate director to declare the major and consider concentration options, ideally no later than the second year. See the American studies website for sample 4-year plans and contact information.

Admission to the Major

Admission Requirements

Course Requirements

ENGL 102 (unless the student has received a waiver or, for transfer students, an equivalent course), AMS 100, and AMS 110 are required.

Grade-Point Average Requirements

Minimum Admission Grade-Point Average. Students must earn a 2.75 grade-point average in admission course requirements.

Admission Grade-Point Average Calculation. The admission grade-point average includes all admission courses above. KU’s course repeat policy applies to grade-point average calculation.

Application Term

Application to the major should occur in the term in which admission requirements will be completed. If the student does not meet established admission grade-point average criteria or neglects to apply for admission in this term, he or she must petition the department for permission for late application. The department, as part of an approved petition, determines late admission requirements (including grade-point average and course requirements) and the final deadline for admission.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

30 hours are required, distributed as follows:

American Studies Core Courses 9 hours
  • AMS 100 Introduction to American Studies (3) or
  • AMS 101 Introduction to American Studies, Honors (3)
  • AMS 110 American Identities (3) or
  • AMS 112 American Identities, Honors (3)
  • AMS 332 The United States in Global Context (same as SOC 332) (3)
Theory and Method 6 hours
Emphasis 12 hours

American Studies Emphases:

  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Visual Culture
  • Local and Global
  • Popular Culture
  • Jazz Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Religion

An emphasis consists of 4 courses that cohere around a common theme. Consult the American studies office for details. At least 9 hours must be at the junior/senior level. Students must select 1 of 7 special emphases or design their own. Self-designed emphases must be approved in their entirety by an American studies adviser and the undergraduate studies director before implementation.

Advanced Course 3 hours

AMS 550 Research Seminar in: _____ (3)

Double Majors

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.

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