American Studies
American Studies

Majoring in American Studies

What is American Studies?

Great question! American Studies is always changing and can accommodate almost any interest or idea. Our students study everything from American history and literature to fashion, television and the Green Movement. The only thing common to all American Studies work is a critical engagement with American culture. If you can dream it up, there’s probably a place for it in American Studies.

What are some American Studies classes?

Great sample classes include: Animals in American Culture; American Food; Immigrants, Amusements and Consumer Culture; Drugs and Alcohol in American Culture; Children’s Literature and American Culture; The Culture of Cities; The Beats and American Culture, 1945-1990; Black Americans and the South.  For detailed course descriptions visit: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/ams/courses/

What can I do with a degree in American Studies?

Almost anything!! Because American Studies is so broad, it’s great preparation for work or graduate school. In recent years, our students have gone on to exciting careers in law, advertising, politics, business and the non-profit sector. Others work right here at UT! American Studies continues to produce an expanding group of successful Americans at the tops of their fields.

Really? But I don’t even know any American Studies majors…

Oh, really? Ever heard of Katie Couric? Tom Wolfe? Maria Shriver? Even President Bartlett from NBC’s The West Wing had an undergraduate degree in American Studies!

What are some GREAT REASONS to choose American Studies?

Every American Studies major has his/her own story. Which one describes you?

  • The Generalist: You’ve been at UT a few semesters, and it’s time to choose a major…but everything seems so interesting! How can you possibly pick just one?! Major in American Studies, and you can take classes on just about anything. 
  • The Specialist: You know what you’re into, and you’re ready to get moving. American Studies lets you drill down and look at your favorite topic from as many different angles as possible. Who knows? Maybe you’ll write the next great senior thesis!
  • Double Trouble: You’ve already got a great major, but you’ve also got a bunch of random, extra classes on the side. Why not put them to use? You might be already close to an American Studies double major!  
  • It’s Personal: Whether it’s the sport you love to play, the town you grew up in, or your personal background or culture, American Studies is the place to study what you love, who you are, and where you’ve come from. I bet you never thought you could take a class on that!

Things recent graduates say they like about the American Studies major:

  • “The freedom to study what you want”
  • “You get to know the professors very well”
  • “Flexibility and the ease to transferring into the major”
  • “It’s easy to double major”
  • “The classes inevitably correspond to the times we live in, even the history-based course”
  • “It covers all the things I didn’t learn in high school, especially being more critical of the world around you.”
  • “History is presented more as an ongoing conversation, and not a top-down approach”
  • “I’m comfortable approaching professors outside the classroom and ask for research help”
  • “In my other major, only one professor knows me, but in American Studies pretty much all the professors know me. They’re very approachable.
  • “Unlike other departments where there are so many students and you get lost, in American Studies you get to know the other majors well. This fosters really good conversations.”
  • “UT has all the benefits of a large university, but the major helps it feel like a liberal arts college. Here, students care more about the major and are really engaged.”
  • “The interdisciplinary approach of American Studies changed how I think about the world.”
  • “The major helped with my ability to take in a lot of information, synthesize it, and then be able to communicate clearly from it. This was important for my work at a law firm this summer.”