Student Quotes

Here’s a sampling of what a few of our majors—and recent grads—have to say about majoring in American studies...

"My American Studies major has taught me to look critically at American culture and identity, particularly at power structures and systems of oppression. This skill will help me to consider issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. as I report on my communities during my career as a journalist. The American Studies program has opened my eyes to new stories, as well as to fresh ways of seeing old ones."  - Marisa Lati, 2014

"One of my favorite parts about the four years at Notre Dame has been the American Studies major. The first think that has stuck out the most to me has been the freedom to question and criticize elements of our own society that we have long took for granted with no pressure to conform to a particular set of beliefs. Furthermore, the wide range of topics that I was able to study and analyze was definitely a valuable aspect, when compared to some of my friends in other majors who studied the same thing for four years. I was never bored and always found something that interested me."                                                                                                - Maria Kosse, 2014

"Majoring in American Studies shaped my undergraduate career. The professors in the department make the program. Not only do they care about every one of their students, they also push us to view our work as contributing to the field. By treating us as serious, invested scholars, they give undergraduates a sense of life in the professional world before even leaving Notre Dame."  - Aubrey Butts, 2014 

"I think my AMST degree has given me a leg up with having insight into American culture. Consistently in interviews, I was able to discuss my understanding Americanism & how this understanding would help me to do well in the marketing world. Also, interviewers were generally looking for proof that I had writing solid writing experience, and having a writing intensive major that culminated in a capstone essay gave me the confidence to tell them that I was definitely a capable writer."  - Rebecca Moriarty, 2014 

"American Studies crafted me into a writer, a critic, and an advocate. It equipped me with the skills needed to canvas for the public interest, such as fluency and adaptability. More importantly, it made me into an engaged participant in American culture and politics, rather than blindly being absorbed in the status quo."  -  Kaylin Cook, 2013

"The most valuable aspect of the program to me was the ability to explore so many different academic realms.  No other major has the opportunity to take English, Poly Sci, Journalism, Anthropology, and Architecture classes (all during my senior year).  I feel like this major has made me well-versed in so many disciplines."  - Casey Easley, 2013

"The major helped me to start questioning the different aspects of society, in terms of how they came to be that way and how they can change for the better. With the hopeful future in nursing, I think my American Studies major will help me in realizing that things are not always as they seem. It is important to know the full story before making an assessment."  - Laura Kaiser, 2013

"I loved every minute of my time in the major, from the cerbral engagement with unique materials to the wonderful conversations and relationships established with faculty and peers in and out of the classroom. What American Studies offers that other programs don't is the chance to think crticially on our own."  - Amanda Gray, 2012

"Being an American Studies major made me understand social problems in America from multiple perspectives - sociologically, historically, psychologically, and aesthetically"  - Kelly Gibson, 2012 

"I think the most valuable lessons from AMST have been in learning how to present yourself and developing a writing style and way to think analytically about American culture"   - Clare Mundy, 2012

"American Studies is truly the best major on campus for anyone that wants to get the mostt out of their experience at Notre Dame in taking classes with engaging professors, exploring critical topics, and fostering skills necessary for any career or post-graduate studies"  - Kjerstin Johnson, 2012


A video on the opportunities an Arts & Letters major provides: