Goucher College 2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalogue 
    Mar 18, 2018  
Goucher College 2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalogue

American Studies Major

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*NEW Major* (see old major requirements below)

The American Studies Major (38 credits)

American Studies is defined by its sustained engagement with two questions: “What is America?” and “What does it mean to be an American?”. American Studies is further defined by its commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to answering these questions. Once students have acquired a foundation in American culture, society, and history, they design a path through the major that reflects their special interest in American culture. 

Students earn honors in the major by completing a Senior Thesis with a grade of A or A- or by earning a minimum GPA of 3.70 in courses for the major.


(Four credits at the 100- or 200-level in each of the following three areas.)

One aim of American Studies is to help you understand the American present in relation to its past. Another is to learn about the emergence of social groups and their political struggles. And a third, no less important, is to understand America as reflected in and shaped by its artistic expressions. Coursework in each of these areas helps lay the foundation for your understanding of American culture as well as allowing you to discern the nature of your own particular interests in American Culture. Students can select from the following preapproved courses and/or choose courses in consultation with the director of American Studies.

Thematic Core (22 credits, with 16 at the 300- or 400-level)

The American Studies program allows you to construct an interdisciplinary program, made up of subjects drawn from different disciplines, centered on your particular interests. American Studies students collaborate closely with their academic advisor (ordinarily the director of the American Studies Program) to work out a thematic core around which to build your course of study. Themes may be centered on a specific era (e.g. Colonization and Settlement, the New Republic) or a topic (e.g. immigration and migration, American Indian History, reform movements). Coursework must come from at least three different programs.

A concentration on Progressive Era America might include:

MUS 109 - The History of Jazz (2 Cr.) 

WGS 205 - Maintaining the Status Quo: Power and Privilege in the United States (4 Cr.) 

HIS 206 - Success and Failure in Early American Capitalism (4 Cr.) 

SOA 245 - Wealth, Power, and Prestige (4 Cr.) 

ENG 275 - Literature of the Harlem Renaissance (4 Cr.) 

PHL 321 - Nineteenth Century Philosophy (4 Cr.) 

ED 410 - History of Education in US (4 Cr.) 


A concentration on Immigration and Migration might include:

PCE 226 - Women, Peace, and Protest: Latin American Women and the Search for Social Justice (4 Cr.)  

ENG 236 - Latina Literature across Borders (2 Cr.) 

SOA 220 - Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations (4 Cr.) 

WGS 237 - Gender and Migration in a Global Perspective: I Detect an ‘Accent’ Where Are Your Originally From? (4 Cr.) 

WRT 284 - The Rhetoric of Islamophobia (4 Cr.) 

ENG 256 - Multiethnic American Literature (4 Cr.) 

PCE 335 - Future Cities: Speculations, Countermappings, and Narratives of Possibility (4 Cr.) 




The following are the *OLD* major requirements.

The major consists of a minimum of 36 credits at the 200 and 300 levels. Students must elect AMS 205  and eight other courses at the 200 level distributed among at least four academic programs. Three courses at the 300 level must also be chosen. Independent work may be substituted in some cases. Majors should consult with the program director for guidelines for writing and computer proficiency in the American studies major.

100- and 200-Level Courses

Students must select eight of the following courses, including at least one from each key theme and distributed among at least four academic programs. Three 300-level courses are also required.

300-Level Courses

Three 300-level courses are required, in addition to AMS 205  and 200-level courses.

II. Identity II

  •  PSC 322 - American Philosophy

III. The Natural and Human-Made Environment

  • HP 320/ART 347 (course inactive)

IV. Cultural and Social Expression

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