Bachelor of Arts in American Studies

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  • Course description
    American Studies is an interdisciplinary program open to all students at Miami University. The American Studies major offers flexibility balanced with structure. Students have the opportunity to create an intellectual course of study that suits their particular interests and needs. They benefit from small classes, close interaction with faculty, and individualized mentoring.
    The curriculum provides a critical perspective on “American” culture from a variety of vantage points. Students are encouraged to make connections between a range of disciplinary fields including art, anthropology, architecture, communication, comparative religion, economics, English, geography, history, music, philosophy, political science, sociology, and theater.

    In addition, students have the opportunity to explore alternative interdisciplinary approaches to American culture including African American studies, Asian American studies, ethnic studies, film and media studies, gay and lesbian studies, gender studies, Latino/a studies, Native American Studies, material culture studies, popular culture studies, and urban studies.

    American Studies Core Courses (16 credit hours)
    Students must take all of the following core courses.  Students must achieve an average GPA of 2.0 in all five AMS core courses to successfully graduate with a major in American Studies.
    • MPF/AMS 205  Introduction to American Studies (3)  (Formerly AMS 101)
      This course introduces students to the study of culture in the United States from an interdisciplinary perspective.  Drawing from a variety of source materials ranging from literary and historical texts to visual images and material objects, and relying on a range of interpretive techniques, students examine aspects of thought, expression, and behavior that have shaped and defined the complex modern society of the United States.  Students must achieve a 2.0 GPA in this course to complete the major. 
    • AMS 206 Approaches to American Studies (3) (Formerly AMS 201)
      This course focuses on a specific topic or case study, for example, a place, a historical moment, a social movement, a person. Emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary skills, teaching students to analyze and inter-relate different kinds of texts to explore the idea of culture. Prerequisite:  AMS 205.
    • AMS 301 Practice in American Studies (3)
      This course is designed to offer opportunities for collaborative and interactive learning that link students and faculty in the university with communities and constituencies outside the university. Focusing on a specific theme, issue, or ongoing project, students explore notions of public culture through some form of applied study and research. Drawing from a range of approaches to interactive learning such as service learning, field research, experiential learning, and applied research, the course encourages critical self-awareness, civic engagement, public service, and social stewardship.  Prerequisite:  AMS 205
    • AMS 302 America in Global Context (3)
      This course is designed to explore issues of American culture, politics and history in the context of growing global interconnectedness.  The focus is on the membership of the United States in a broader international community and how the United States both shapes and is shaped by patterns and processes of globalization.  By locating study of the United States in a global context, students learn to more critically reflect on their own cultural identities, attitudes, and assumptions, and to better understand the challenges and responsibilities of American citizenship and world citizenship in an era of intensifying globalization.  Prerequisite:  AMS 205
    • AMS 401 Capstone in American Studies (4)
      This course serves as a research or practicum course in American Studies.  It can be set up as a topical course in which all students focus on a particular topic, or an individual research workshop in which students pursue independent projects, or a combination of both. Prerequisite:  AMS 205, AMS 206, and nine additional hours of American Studies-related course work, or permission of the instructor.

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