Students are introduced to the field’s key themes and issues in the Introduction to American Studies course, which is taken in the first year or at the sophomore level and functions as a gateway to the major.

This required course explores key concepts, texts, and methods in American Studies and familiarizes students with the discipline's working vocabulary and diverse approaches. It is offered in the fall semester.

The introductory course is followed by eight different upper-level courses in AMST. Each continues to explore concepts, texts, and methods particular to the discipline of American Studies.

Major Requirements Course Level Credits
Introduction to American Studies 20000 level 3
8 Upper Level courses; 6 must be taught by AMST faculty, 2 may be taken outside of the department 30000 level 24
Senior Seminar* 40000 level  3
Senior Thesis (optional) - The Thesis: Theory, Method, and Composition 40000 level 6

Of the eight upper-level courses, up to two may be taken from other departments, either on campus or through an off-campus Notre Dame program, as long as they are cross-listed with American Studies or otherwise approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies Peter Cajka.

Finally, AMST majors complete their coursework with the Senior Seminar in American Studies, a required 40000-level course that serves as a capstone to the major. Requirements include seminar-style discussions and a significant research project.  

Alternatively, a sizable portion of our majors choose to write a senior thesis.