Major Requirements

Total Units: 30 credits, at least 24 of which must be 300-level or above. In addition, students are expected to complete 9 credits of coursework with heavy methodological content. See "Disciplinary Foundations Coursework" below.


  • "Introductory Course" (3 credits), as designated by American Culture Studies, which recently have included AMCS 220 Topics in American Culture Studies: Introduction to American Culture Studies, AMCS 206 "Reading" Culture: The Cultural Lives of Things, and AMCS 202 The Immigrant Experience. See our Course Listings webpage for the full listing by semester.
  • AMCS 375A: "Methods and Visions" (3 credits): Must be at Junior standing to enroll in this Writing-Intensive methods seminar, which is offered each Fall semester.
  • Fieldwork (3 credits): Enrollment in an approved Fieldwork course such as L98 479: On Location: Exploring America or completion of a field-based independent project under the guidance of AMCS faculty (in most cases under the course number L98 298). See Course Listings for other offerings. See our Fieldwork page for more information and examples of past projects.
  • General Americanist Coursework (18 credits): 6 courses taken in the following groupings:
    • Prime Concentration Area Coursework (9 credits): 3 courses in a single Concentration Area. See list of established Concentration Areas on previous page.
    • Distribution Coursework –or- a Second Concentration Area (9 credits): Courses taken in 3 different disciplines or fields (“Distribution), OR 3 courses in a second Concentration area.
  • Senior Capstone Project (3 credits): a multidisciplinary project culminating the coursework in the Major (6 credits if the project is an honors thesis). See The Capstone page for additional information and past projects.
  • At least two (2) multidisciplinary (MD) courses, taken as part of the above major requirements and designated by AMCS . L98 375A and courses that count towards the Fieldwork requirement may not also count towards the MD requirement. Students are encouraged to take MD courses that connect to the subjects or issues in their concentration area. See Course Listings for a complete list of general and MD courses that count toward the AMCS major.

Disciplinary Foundations coursework (9 credits): In addition to the above requirements, students are expected to complete three (3) courses with heavy methodological content and approved by your advisor, at least two (2) of which must be in a single discipline and two (2) of which must be at the 300-level-or-higher. A suitable second program of study may be applied towards this requirement.

AMCS gives majors considerable freedom in defining their course of study, allowing them to learn how cultural study is done in multiple fields and periods even as they define concentration areas in ways that suit their specific interests. Pairing the AMCS major with a second major in a complementary discipline is an especially enriching model of cultural study, and AMCS will work closely with students to ensure that double-majoring works well.

Máire Murphy

Academic Coordinator, AMCS