Requirements for the Interdepartmental Major:
The purpose of the American Studies Interdepartmental major is to allow students the opportunity to cultivate a multi-dimensional picture of our culture as a complement to or in relation to another area of concentration, be it Middle Eastern history or an area of interest outside the humanities and social sciences. As with the full American Studies major, interdepartmental majors must focus their coursework around a coherent topic, either chronologically or thematically. (See possible concentrations under requirements for major.)
A student must complete a minimum of eight (8) courses, including one English and one history core course. (See list of core courses under requirements for major.)
In consultation with his or her American Studies academic advisor, a student must complete four (4) courses with either an historic or thematic concentration. One of the four must come from Division I (Arts & Humanities) and one from Division II (Social Sciences).
During the junior year, a student must take an American Studies approved seminar or an upper level American Studies approved course that is a WAC. If possible, the course should be on a topic related to the thematic concentration. If not taken in the junior year, this course must be completed by the end of the student’s first senior thesis term.
One of the eight (8) courses must cover issues of race and ethnicity or gender in America. One of the eight (8) courses must focus predominantly on the pre-1900 time period. At least three (3) courses must be from Division I (Arts and Humanities), and at least three (3) from Division II (Social Sciences). The eight (8) required courses must be from at least three different departments and have American Studies course approval. No course can double count towards the student’s minor if one is being pursued.
During the senior year, a student must complete a two-term written thesis or two-term senior project (AMS 498 , AMS 499 or IDM 498 , IDM 499 ) related to the student’s thematic concentration, or a WAC (WS) course with American Studies approval. The ID thesis should combine work on the student’s American Studies theme with work in the other ID program or department. If a student is completing a senior project in a non-text medium (such as audio, video, or multi-media), he or she must have a written component in the form of a journal that results in a final paper of at least fifteen pages, to fulfill the Writing Across the Curriculum (WS) requirement. A student will work with a primary, or first, thesis advisor and a second thesis advisor from a different department whom the student must consult early during the research portion of the project to better ensure the interdisciplinary focus of the thesis. Both thesis advisors will participate in the oral defense of the thesis at the completion of the project. The other department or program may also assign the student a thesis advisor. A student must consult with the American Studies program director during the winter term of his or her junior year and submit a thesis proposal listing preferred first and second thesis advisors.
Requirements for Honors in American Studies:
To receive honors as an American Studies major or an ID major, a student must (1) have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3; (2) maintain a grade point average of 3.3 in his or her American Studies approved courses; (3) successfully complete a two term senior thesis with a grade of A or A-; (4) receive a high pass or pass with distinction for the oral thesis defense; (5) give an oral presentation at The Steinmetz Symposium in the spring of his or her senior year; and (6) place a copy of the thesis in the library archives. Further guidelines for the senior thesis and honors are available from the program director.