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American Studies|College of Arts and Sciences

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American Studies
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Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766 3898
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Undergraduate Major

Bachelor's of Arts Study

The interdisciplinary major in American Studies emphasizes the integration of the humanities, fine arts and social sciences in the study of American experience, past and present. Through its core of American Studies courses, the program places special emphasis on interaction with contemporary American culture through course work, field experiences and internships, thereby enabling each student to apply academic knowledge to real life circumstances. With the help of an American Studies advisor, students can choose courses for their theme requirements in almost all disciplines and fields in the College of Arts and Sciences. This includes literature, history, geography, anthropology, sociology, art history, women's studies, political science, African American studies, American Indian studies, Chicano studies and environment and natural resources (ENR). The individualized course of study proposed by each student should emphasize an academic interest, a career goal and/or preparation for further education in law school or a graduate program. Although the focus of the program is broad, many students choose to emphasize environmental studies, American cultural diversity, secondary level teaching or preparation for a career in the public sector (museums, historic sites, interpretive centers, etc.).

Course of Study 

Foundation courses (12 credits):
AMST 2010. Introduction to American Studies. 3. [C1,W2<>CH, WB] Introduces the interdisciplinary study of American culture. Focuses on themes, values and ideas which continue to reverberate through our cultural experience. (Offered at least once each year)

AMST 2110. Cultural Diversity in America. 3. [C2<>CS, D] Studies processes by which individuals and groups produce, maintain and express cultural identities in the U.S. Race, gender and ethnicity are addressed, emphasizing historical roots and social context of contemporary cultural varieties. (Offered one semester each year)

Two of the following:

AAST 1000. Introduction to African American Studies. 3. [C1<>D] Surveys African presence in America. Selected teachings are designed to give the student a concise understanding of the heritage of African people in America.

AIST 1350. American Indians in Contemporary Society. 3. [(none)<>CS, D] Survey lecture course. Examines social and cultural issues and concerns of American Indians both on and off the reservations. Additionally, the status of American Indian people within the dominant society and culture will be explored. Cross listed with SOC 1350.

CHST 1100. Introduction to Chicano Studies. 3. [C2, G1<>CS, D] Provides a basic understanding of the historical, social, and cultural context of the Mexican American Chicano people. Examines the major theoretical and conceptual frameworks which explain the Mexican American Chicano experience. Examines the comparative relations with other groups and major social and policy issues. Provides an introduction to the conduct of research in field.

ENR 2000. Environment and Society. 3. [W2, C2, G1<>G] Develops understanding of the nature and dimensions of environmental and natural resource issues. Explores ways in which elements of society approach, evaluate, and develop positions relative to environmental issues. Uses case studies to illustrate the contemporary and historical role of individuals and societies in identifying and addressing environmental issues at scales ranging from local to global.

HIST 1210 or HIST 1220 

HIST 1210. United States History I. 3. [V2, C2<>(none)] Surveys U.S. history 1607-1865. Together with HIST 1220, it is the foundation on which all U.S. history courses offered by the department are based. Students cannot receive credit for both HIST 1210 and 1211. (Offered each semester)

HIST 1220. United States History II. 3. [C2<>(none)] Surveys U.S. history from reconstruction to recent past. Together with HIST 1210, it is the foundation for all U.S. history courses offered by the department. Students cannot receive credit for both HIST 1220 and 1221. (Offered spring semester and based on sufficient demand and resources)

RELI 1000. Introduction to Religion. 3. [C1, G1<>CH, G] Introduces world religions and shared characteristics. Draws on various academic approaches to religion study, emphasizing similarities and differences among wide variety of religions. (Normally offered once a year)

WMST 1080. Introduction to Women's Studies. 3. [C1<>CH, D] An introduction to key issues in women's studies. A topical examination of women's participation in, and relationship to, institutions of society, such as family and school, as well as processes and activities, such as work, art, literature and politics in historical and cross-cultural analysis. Cross listed with ENGL 1080. (Offered both semesters)

Concentration (27 credits):

Each student must take three AMST courses at the 3000-4000 level, excluding the senior seminar. These seminars are designed to maintain an interdisciplinary view of American culture and to foster an American Studies community (9 credits). Please see our Course Offerings page for more information about available courses.

An American Studies theme is devised in consultation with the student's advisor and presented to the American Studies core faculty in writing as a proposed course of study. Since the document guides the student through an exploration of American culture, this proposal is usually made at the end of the second year of study (or upon completion of 60 hours of course work toward graduation). Typical themes include American diversity, environment and society; material culture and everyday life; visual culture and media; American cultural history; American institutions and public culture; and the United States in international perspective. The theme must include a minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 9 credits in a single discipline. Up to 3 credits can be granted for courses at the 1000-2000 level (18 credits).

Capstone (6 credits):
Senior seminar plus an individual project stemming from either AMST 4010 (independent study) or AMST 4970 (internship).

Students pursuing program honors should also write an undergraduate thesis.


American Studies (AMST) in the University Catalog

American Studies (AMST) Courses in the University Catalog

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