American Studies


American Studies is a unique multi- and interdisciplinary field that examines the history, culture, society and politics of the United States.

Units in the major examine why the United States is a dominant cultural and political force in the twenty-first century. From the study of America’s government to its popular culture, students will be challenged to think creatively about the construction and meaning of American identity and power.

An American Studies major will give you broad, multi-faceted knowledge of this complex, diverse and dynamic nation.

In the major you will analyse the United States using a variety of different approaches. In addition to core American Studies units, you can take cross-listed units of study from the Departments of English, Film Studies, History, Government, and Music, and from the United States Studies Centre.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has the largest concentration of academics working on the United States, and the widest range of units of study focused on the United States, of any university in Australia.

Major outline

A major in American Studies requires 36 senior credit points, including at least 6 credit points from core units of study at 2000 level and at least 6 credit points at 3000 level.

Junior units of study (1000 level):
In your first semester you will complete either HSTY1023 Emerging Giant: The Making of America OR HSTY1076 American History from Lincoln to Clinton. In second semester you complete AMST1001: Global America.

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level):
As part of the American Studies major you must complete the core senior-intermediate (2000 level) unit, AMST2601 American Foundations. You must also complete the compulsory senior-advanced (3000 level) unit, AMST3601 Perspectives on America. Entry into AMST3601 requires prior completion of at least 24 credit points of senior units of study.

The remaining 24 credit points required for the major will come from the selection of elective units of study listed in the American Studies unit of study table. A maximum of 18 credit points can be taken from any one elective subject area.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas

English, Film Studies, History, Government and International Relations

Our courses that offer this major

Not available in 2014