Why I Majored in American Studies

Sammy Shresta ’23

The American Studies major offers me both breadth and depth in my education. Throughout an American Studies major, students can take classes in a wide range of departments, from History to Africana Studies to Psychology to Music. Therefore, American Studies students truly immerse themselves in a liberal arts education. In terms of depth, because students have such freedom in selecting their courses, they can deeply explore any topic they choose, in any department they want. Specialization is also possible, as students are asked to draw on four previous classes, combining to illuminate a particular theme, when writing their senior thesis.

Additionally, the American Studies specific courses are wonderful. Three American Studies seminars are offered throughout the course of the major, taught by a rotating group of faculty from a variety of departments. Because of this rotation, the seminars feel energetic, novel and engaging. The reading and coursework also cover a wide range of relevant topics, from the cultural to the political. Overall, the department offers a comprehensive look at the many intricacies of the United States, employing a wide variety of important frameworks along the way.