American Studies at UC Davis

American Studies

American Studies

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Detailed Major/Minor Requirements

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Major and Minor

The culture of the United States is a distinctive blend of traditions and institutions from around the globe with innovations and concepts unique to this country. The American Studies program offers students an understanding of how America's many cultures contribute to the tapestry of American society. Through the study of interpretive works, folklore and folk life, and fine and popular culture, American Studies majors celebrate the diversity of American experiences and examine difficult questions about race, gender, class and other factors that affect American lives.

Real World Outcomes 

As an interdisciplinary major, American studies offers students the choice of a variety of subject matter and approaches. This flexibility means that graduates are prepared to move into a broad range of career settings, including journalism, law, medicine, law enforcement, environmental planning, teaching, library science, museum curatorship and business.


As an American studies major, you will begin with lower division course work in ethnic and cultural studies, history and literature as well as introductory courses in American studies. At the upper division level, you will take seven in-depth classes. Small group seminars on key works in culture studies prepare you to pull together what you have learned in other classes. Advanced work in at least two other departments or programs allows you to emphasize a period, a problem or a subject tailored to your personal educational goals. You may choose to undertake an individual project or thesis in your senior year.