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The American studies program is designed to provide students with a basis for graduate study in fields such as history, journalism, and law, as well as other professional careers.

The program offers an interdisciplinary major, a B.A., and minor.


If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in American Studies or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

Click for the Course Catalogue


Requirements for the Major (B.A.)

interdisciplinary, 12 courses

AMST 100, 101, and 201; two courses from the American Studies introductory group; six courses from the American Studies advanced group chosen to balance between the humanities and social sciences, five of which must focus on a student defined topic; and AMST 465.

Requirements for the Minor

interdisciplinary, 6 courses

AMST 100 or 101, an introductory course from a field relevant to American Studies and four courses from the introductory or advanced groups, three of which center on a major issue or theme. These should include courses from two different divisions.


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with strong critical thinking and analytical skills.

Below you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making American studies a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

AMST 101 Myths and Paradoxes


Trace the origins of American culture, history, nationalism, and imperialism, while examining a series of core American concepts and ideals. Then, advance your own ideals in PHIL 120 Critical Thinking and Argumentative Writing, by developing critical thinking and writing skills and learning how to formulate an argument.

AMST 254 American Masculinities


Discuss the rights of sexual minorities, specifically those of gay men today, and how they respond to the various contemporary constructions of masculinity. Learn how sexual minorities have tried to escape discrimination through their own works of fiction in ENG 281 Literature of Sexual Minorities, and how these works have helped define the lesbian and gay communities and movements of today.

AMST 301 The Culture of Empire


Trace the history of racist attitudes in the United States and their impact on Native Americans, African Americans, and the people of the Phillippines, Japan, and Vietnam. Then study the relationship between ethnic minority and majority groups in the American political system in POL 215 Racial and Ethnic Politics.