American Studies (AMST) is an interdisciplinary program that examines American society and culture, both past and present. Through a study of American history, literature, philosophy, religion, media, social science, and fine arts, students critically analyze the richness of the American experience.
American Studies majors also learn to deconstruct various American narratives that are embedded in formal and popular culture and that reveal a deeper understanding of race, ethnicity, class, and gender, and of America’s place in the world. In this sense, students become “cultural critics” who, in seeing connections across academic disciplines, are able to apply an interdisciplinary perspective in assessing the dominant assumptions about power and identity in everyday life.
American Studies majors also have an opportunity to do an internship, a field-based experience that helps them link theory to practice through the application of AMST courses and researchstrategies to real-life problems. Typical internships sites include the Betsy Ross House, Franklin Institute, Cliveden Historical House, Germantown Historical Society, National Park Service, and the Philadelphia criminal justice system.