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American Studies Major

Study the cultures and histories of the United States from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and address questions of justice, rights and equality.

American Studies is a multidisciplinary major and minor that encourages you to think critically and creatively about the complexity and diversity of the United States from local, national, and transnational perspectives.

Your studies will be both broad and deep. Multidisciplinary core courses like Introduction to American Cultures and American Studies Seminar provide the background and methodologies to help you explore issues relevant to the U.S.
Then, with courses in fields such as literature, history, sociology, anthropology, politics, religion and the arts, you’ll discover a breadth of subjects you can incorporate in your senior thesis.

The interdisciplinary, intercollegiate program is supported by all of the undergraduate Claremont Colleges. An American Studies major gives you many career choices, including academia, education, journalism, and law.

In class with professors Susan McWilliams and John Seery
“American Road Trip” class with professors Susan McWilliams and John Seery
In class with Professor of History Victor Silverman
In class with Professor Victor Silverman
In class with Professor John Seery
In class with Professor John Seery

What You’ll Study

    • Themes, concerns, and methodologies of American studies
    • A two-semester survey of American history
    • An ethnic studies course
    • Courses focused on either a specific discipline or theme
    • Senior seminar and thesis
American studies courses can be drawn from across at least 20 different disciplines.

Researching at Pomona

Marisol Diaz Altar

Citizenship as a Lived Experience

In her American Studies Seminar, Marisol Diaz ’18 did a literature review about citizenship as a lived experience on the macro, meso and micro levels to get a sense of how anthropologists are analyzing questions about belonging, citizenship, and identity politics. 

Marisol Diaz American Studies
Marisol Diaz ’18

I love how interdisciplinary the major is, allowing me to concentrate on politics and anthropology. The transnational direction the field has been taking in recent years compliments my interests in immigration and citizenship. Through the American Studies major I found topics that get me excited about learning such as nation-state identity building and politics, concepts of freedoms and rights, and hyphenated-American identities.

Faculty & Teaching

The American Studies intercollegiate faculty’s aim is to introduce you to the distinctiveness and intricacies of the American experience. The introductory American Studies course is team-taught by two to three professors from different fields, including English, history, art history, music, anthropology and sociology.  

Prof. Joti Rockwell

American Studies is an especially rewarding way for students to pursue an academic path that is both personally meaningful and socially relevant. With the freedom of not being bounded by any single disciplinary approach, students in the program bring together their individualized courses of study at Pomona to address deep questions about America—past, present, and future.