American Studies, B.A.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program Overview

As an interdisciplinary American studies major, you will explore the diverse cultural and social life of the United States. You’ll discover varied perspectives on what it means to be American, and you will see U.S. culture and the larger world in holistic ways and explore questions of social justice, rights, and equality. You’ll engage in close analyses of immigrant novels, slave narratives, and the Constitution; conduct field work in your own communities; interview your neighbors to collect oral histories; and gain a deep understanding of U.S. history, society, and the arts.

American Studies, B.A.

Where You'll Go

The inventive, interdisciplinary nature of American studies open doors to a wide range of career opportunities. American studies graduates are creative, critical thinkers who go on to become writers, teachers, policy makers, lawyers, arts and museum administrators, editors, and activists. Surveys and research show that the key skills we teach—writing, communication, research, and critical problem-solving—are the ones employers are looking for, and will prepare you for long-term career success.

Major Details

The program information listed here reflects the approved curriculum for the 2023–24 academic year per the Brooklyn College Bulletin. Bulletins from past academic years can be found here.

Major Description

The American Dream, the land of opportunity, the self-made man or woman, the conflict between the values of a free society and a history marked by slavery and racial tensions: America—melting pot or mosaic? These are but a few of the themes that are the focus of American studies, an interdisciplinary field that explores the American experience through the study of history, literature, and the arts. Drawing from the theories and methods of literary criticism, historiography, anthropology, folklore, musicology, art history, and ethnic and gender studies, American studies seeks to integrate diverse materials relating to the history and culture of the United States

The American studies program leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Also offered is a 15-credit minor in American studies. A concentration in American studies is available for students majoring in early childhood education or childhood education in the School of Education. The American studies program also offers the Bachelor of Arts for social studies teacher (grades 7–12) in cooperation with the School of Education.

The unique interdisciplinary approach of the American studies program draws a wide constituency of students. Students who desire a connected vision of the country’s history, art, and culture often become American studies majors. For those Americanists who wish to major in history, English, or one of the ethnic studies fields, the recently revised American studies minor provides a broader cultural context to view their particular field of study.

The average class size is 20 students.

Major Requirements (39–42 Credits)

American Studies 1001 or 1010.

Five of the following: American Studies 3302, 3206, 3212, 3306, 3307, 3102, 3702, 3704, 3104, 3706, 3902, 3404, 3106, 3107W, 3108, 3402, 3304, 3310, 3406, 3708, 3709, 4002, 5003W.

Two of the following: History 3323, 3420, 3430, 3440, 3441, 3442, 3418, 3455, 3410, 3475, 3478, 3479, 3480, 3485, 4200.

Two of the following: English 3166, 3151, 3152, 3153, 3154, 3163, 4105, 4107.

Either a) or b):

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Interpret, discuss, and critically analyze cultural documents and expressive forms, including: material objects; still and moving images; practices and performances; and oral and written texts.
  • Recognize the theories and methodologies of interdisciplinary study.
  • Locate primary literary, historical and other cultural texts and documents in social, historical, and/or cultural context.
  • Recognize the social, cultural, and ideological diversity of American culture, and the manner in which the intersecting dynamics of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and other axes of social difference produce dissimilar American experiences for individuals and groups.
  • Write cogently and communicate their ideas effectively in a range of formats, written and oral.

Degree Maps

View all past degree maps.


Yung-Yi Diana Pan, Program Director

3415 Boylan Hall
P: 718.951.5000, ext. 1776

Or contact:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

222 West Quad Center
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210

To make an appointment with an undergraduate admissions counselor, visit:

Virtual Admissions Counselor Appointments

Internships and Employers

Through job fairs, the internship database, and internship panels, the Magner Career Center gives students in the American studies B.A. program access to career opportunities at a wide variety of employers, including:

  • Columbia University
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • New York City Department of City Planning
  • New York City Department of Education
  • New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • New York Historical Society
  • New York Public Library
  • New York University
  • Pace University
  • St. John’s University
  • Whitney Museum of Art

Learn More

Brooklyn. All in.

Brooklyn. All in.