The Program in American Studies offers students an opportunity to study the civilization of the United States from a variety of perspectives and through the methodologies of different intellectual disciplines. Because of the social diversity of Americans, the study of American culture necessarily involves consideration of many cultures and must ask how this diversity coexists with a national identity; therefore, all courses incorporate multiple examinations of race, ethnicity, class, and gender in America. Study of the subject matter is multidisciplinary and most courses are team-taught. Majors create their own courses of study using the resources of the program and those of other departments within the college.
The program also offers a correlate sequence in Native American studies which enables students to examine Indigenous cultures, politics, histories, and literatures, in a primarily North American context. Students electing the correlate sequence are trained in the methodology of Native American studies as a means to critically assess colonial discourses, examine the many ways Native peoples have contributed to and shaped North American culture, and analyze and honor the autonomy and sovereignty of Indigenous nations, peoples, and thought.
The senior thesis/project allows in-depth research on a particular element of the student's chosen focus.