The American Studies major is well-suited for intellectually curious and independent students whose interests cross disciplines and departments. The American Studies major is designed to help students develop an integrated and intensive understanding of the social, historical, material, and aesthetic aspects of American cultures. This highly flexible major allows students to identify and pursue their interests while working collaboratively with a cohort of students and faculty. Field trips and on-campus events help to build a strong intellectual community that undergirds each student’s experience.
The program lays a strong foundation in two core courses that students take in their sophomore year and culminates in a guided year-long thesis courses, in between students have significant freedom to pursue questions and topics of their choice by selecting from a wide range of electives. Because of the sophomore foundations courses, students interested in American Studies must apply in the spring of their first year, unlike other majors in the College.
Many American Studies majors spend a semester abroad during their junior year. This provides opportunities for cross-cultural comparative analysis, and students gain insight into how the United States influences and is seen by other countries. Our students have enrolled in programs in Ireland, South Africa, Germany, and Italy, among other places.
Georgetown’s American Studies graduates are sought after in a number of professional fields because they write well, think critically, are adept at making connections among disparate ideas, have a strong sense of their interests, and are well-prepared to acquire and use new knowledge. Students pursue careers in business, law, medicine, government, performing arts, museum studies, and education. Having majored in the oldest interdisciplinary program in the College, American Studies alumni continue to be a highly active and engaged network of professionals.