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American Studies Program Information

Admission to Program

The American Studies degree program is open enrollment.

The Discipline

The American Studies major examines the sweep of American experience, society, culture, and civilization from a variety of viewpoints—literature, history, gender, humanities, regions, politics, ethnic groups, geography, art, economics, religion, and folklore—based in core courses designed to examine the American experience from a variety of standpoints. Majors are encouraged to develop particular skills in writing; literary criticism; historical research; and social, political, and economic analysis. The program provides not only rich interdisciplinary experience but also exposure to a variety of excellent scholars and teachers.

Career Opportunities

On graduation, American Studies students are usually qualified to enter graduate and professional schools (for law, MBA, MPA, PhD), government or community service, teaching, or advanced graduate studies in the liberal arts, including American studies, American civilization, American culture, American history, and American literature.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor’s degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The university core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours in residence
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.o

Click here to view specific American Studies BA Requirements.

Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

  • BA — American Studies
  • Minor — Western American Studies

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.

Learning Outcomes

Work Independently

American Studies graduates will have created a coherent course of study matched to their interests and their post-graduate plans. This may include taking a suitable minor and creating for themselves relevant extracurricular experiences such as internships, editorships, travel study, ORCA grants, conference participation, and publication.

Engage Disciplinarily and Interdisciplinarily

American Studies graduates will understand that American Studies is coherent as a discipline in and of itself and also engage their major both within and across the various other disciplines that constitute American Studies, mastering the theoretical and methodological approaches inherent in the American Studies curriculum.

Analyze Rigorously

American Studies graduates will be able to read critically and analyze cultural, economic, historical, literary, political, social, and religious texts and artifacts. They will identify, evaluate, and incorporate appropriate research sources in their work as they demonstrate awareness of the critical conversations they are entering. Their analyses will contribute to their understanding of the ways in which the American experience has been, and continues to be, constructed and transmitted.

Communicate Persuasively

American Studies graduates will be able to formulate both their oral and written arguments coherently, support them clearly, and communicate them effectively to their audiences using correct conventions of language and some stylistic flair–all according to the best practices of the variety of disciplines and situations in which they are engaged.