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American studies (AMS) is an interdisciplinary major that examines the historical and contemporary cultures of the United States in domestic and international settings. In addition to its own interdisciplinary foundation, American studies draws insights from disciplines such as: geography, history, literature, art, media and film studies, urban studies, gender studies, anthropology, sociology and ethnic studies.

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.

Declare This Major

Undergraduates currently enrolled at UT who wish to declare an American studies major must first meet with an American studies advisor. There is no formal application process. For more information, visit the student affairs page on how to declare a major.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit UT Admissions to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

Visit the American studies degree plan to view all required courses for the American studies major in the College of Liberal Arts. View course descriptions of current American studies courses.

What can I do with this major?

Wondering how you'd turn this major into a career? Remember: your major does not always determine your career path. Career counseling and assessments at the Vick Center can help you explore.

Major ≠ Career

Graduates with this major pursue many different careers, depending on their interests and experiences. Make yourself more marketable by complementing this major with part-time work, volunteering, internships, a certificate program, or graduate school.

Experience + Degree = Career

The Career Service Offices in your college can help you with internships and jobs. They work closely with employers to help students prepare for career opportunities. Read a few inspiring stories by professionals whose experiences led to great careers.


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!
  • To learn more, check out the American Studies Department Blog.


    • Critical analysis
    • Communication/Persuasive speaking
    • Interdisciplinary thinking
    • Information management and presentation
    • Researching
    • Writing and editing
    • Creative expression