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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

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:

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!

Why not just do History or English?

American Studies is an interdisciplinary department, so you get the best of both worlds! It’s also small, which means more of the personal attention that you might not find in larger departments like History or English. Our students repeatedly say that our undergraduate adviser is one of the nicest and most available on campus--her door is always open for questions and to talk. Also, our honors program is a close-knit group that gets lots of attention from professors-- no one will leave you high and dry when you're trying to finish your thesis!

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. You can also count 12 hours of credit in almost any other UT department toward your degree! (Guess you don’t have to choose after all…)
  • 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!
  • The Latecomer: So, graduation is getting awfully close, but you’re still looking for a major. American Studies requires only 24 hours of AMS coursework. Combine the great classes you’ve taken in scattered fields and graduate on time with American Studies!
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