AMERICAN STUDIES - Dept. Codes: AMS
www.as.miami.edu/ams

AMERICAN STUDIES - Dept. Codes: AMS
www.as.miami.edu/ams


INTRODUCTION

The Program in American Studies at the University of Miami fosters the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society, and explores the place of the United States in an increasingly interconnected world. Our faculty come from a wide range of fields, including history, literature, political science, religion, art, philosophy, law, music, ethnic studies, anthropology, architecture, sociology, communications, and education. What unites them is the commitment to examining the U.S. from multiple perspectives, highlighting the diversity of people, cultures, and experiences that have shaped the past and present United States. The Program places analysis of globalization at its center, and encourages a hemispheric perspective that allows students and faculty to explore interests in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Pacific Rim, and other border crossings.


EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

The undergraduate curriculum in American Studies encourages students to bridge the divide between disciplines by examining specific themes and topics in an engaging, dynamic, interdisciplinary manner. By exposing students to courses that place questions of cultural diversity, regional difference, ethnic and racial identity, gender and sexuality, class dynamics, and popular culture at the forefront of intellectual investigation, the Program in American Studies enables them to situate their own experiences in a wider context. It also exposes them to a multiplicity of perspectives that inform our understanding of the United States and its place in a global society. The Program encourages its majors to study abroad, and faculty members help students plan their curriculum to make that option feasible.


DEGREE PROGRAMS

Bachelor of Arts


MAJOR

MAJOR in American Studies (30 credits):

A major in American Studies consists of at least 30 credits in American Studies courses (core, co-listed, or cross-listed) with a grade of C- or better in each course, with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in AMS courses. These credits must include at least 18 at the 300 level or above. All majors must complete AMS 101: Introduction to American Studies; AMS 310: The United States in the World; at least two other AMS core courses; at least one course in American history, and at least one course in American literature.

Students must take three courses, chosen in consultation with an American Studies advisor, in a specialized area of American Studies (200 level or higher). Students may work in areas including, but not limited to, Ethnic Studies, Caribbean Studies, Latino/a Studies, Environmental Studies, Communication Studies, Women’s Literature, Urban Studies, Africana Studies, Religious Studies, or Material Culture Studies. At least one of these courses must be either comparative or non-U.S.-based.

Students must take courses from at least three different departments in order to fulfill the requirements for the major.

In addition, all majors must complete AMS 501: Senior Project. This capstone course can take the form of an individual research project or an internship at a local cultural or civic institution. For the research option, students will identify an appropriate faculty member to supervise and grade the project, and then obtain approval from the program director before proceeding with the project. The student must produce a substantial written report or research paper, the format of which will be determined by the faculty member and student in consultation with the program director. For the internship option, students will partner with any number of local institutions and produce a creative and/or scholarly project for evaluation. The internship will be arranged through the program director, in consultation with the Butler Center and/or the Office of Civic and Community Engagement.  The final product will be evaluated by the program director. 


MINOR

MINOR in American Studies (15 credits)

A minor in American Studies consists of at least 15 credits in American Studies courses (core, co-listed, or cross-listed) with a grade of C- or better in each course, with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in AMS courses. These credits must include at least 9 at the 300 level or above. All minors must complete AMS 101: Introduction to American Studies; AMS 310: The United States in the World; at least one other AMS core course; and at least one course in American history or American literature.


DEPARTMENTAL HONORS

American Studies majors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in AMS courses and an overall GPA of at least 3.0 may earn departmental honors by completing AMS 505: Honors Thesis. Candidates for departmental honors are responsible for finding a faculty member to serve as thesis advisor. Students then must complete a thesis proposal of approximately 500 words that must be approved by the thesis advisor and the program director. The format and length of the thesis will vary according to the nature of the project. Students would take AMS 501 in the fall semester of the senior year and AMS 505 in the spring to complete the honors thesis.