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American Studies (Interdisciplinary Minor)

American Studies faculty are drawn from eleven academic disciplines — Communication Science Disorders, English, Environmental Studies, Fine Arts, History, Geography, Government, Music, Philosophy, Rhetoric/Communication/Theater, and Theology. This range of disciplines gives the American Studies minor unparalleled flexibility and versatility. Chances are you are already taking courses in American Studies! In addition, American Studies minors choose a course in their senior year that develops and maximizes their problem-solving skills in real world settings.    

American Studies, the first and most well-established interdisciplinary field in the United States, is recognized as a vital component of vocational preparation for students considering careers in government, administration, public policy, business, and education, management, and law.         

The American Studies interdisciplinary minor consists of 18 credits, with distribution requirements in three disciplinary groupings. Fifteen credits are taken from courses listed below, in addition to a three-credit capstone seminar.

The American Studies interdisciplinary minor consist of 18 credits, with distribution requirements in three disciplinary groupings, in keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the field. 15 credits are taken from courses listed under these three groupings:  Humanities; Social Sciences; and Art and Popular Culture. Students take 6 credits in courses listed under the Humanities; 6 credits in courses listed under Social Sciences; and 3 credits in courses listed in Art and Popular Culture. The remaining 3 credit requirement is satisfied in one of three ways:  by taking another American Studies course; by taking an internship in a discipline of American Studies; or by taking any course, except one within the Institute for Core Studies, with an Academic Service Learning component. This last option is subject to the approval of your academic advisor and the program director (pending approval by the Liberal Arts Faculty Council).

Degree Type
Area of Interest
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours


Humanities (6 credits; no more than 3 credits to be taken in any one discipline):

Course CodeCourse Name
ENG 2060:Studies in American Literature
ENG 3300:Colonial American Literature
ENG 3310:Antebellum American Literature
ENG 3320:19th Century American Fiction
ENG 3330:African American Literature to 1900
ENG 3340:American Realism and Naturalism
ENG 3350:American Women Writers
ENG 3360:Early National American Literature
ENG 3390:Special Topics in American Literature to 1900
ENG 3470:20th Century African-American Literature
ENG 3480:The Harlem Renaissance
ENG 3560:American Ethnic Literature
HIS/GEO 1002*:North American Geography
HIS 2700: U.S.:Colonial America
HIS 2710: US.: The Early National Period
HIS 2711: U.S.:The Revolutionary Age
HIS 2712: U.S.:Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Periods
HIS 2720: U.S.:Civil War and Reconstruction
HIS 2730: U.S.:The Gilded Age
HIS 2740: U.S.: The Age of Reform
HIS 2750: U.S.:World War II and Post-War America
HIS 3100/ ASC 2540: America Meets China
HIS 3150:History of Inter-American Relations
HIS 3180: America and the Muslim World
HIS 3375:Asian-American History
HIS 3701:U.S. Foreign Relations
HIS 3702:U.S. Foreign Relations
HIS 3705: Race Relations in American Foreoign Policy
HIS 3711:African-American History to 1900
HIS 3712:African-American History Since 1900
HIS 3715: History of Race and Ethnicity in the United States
HIS 3720:Indians and Europeans in Early America
HIS 3725:Law in American History
HIS 3731:Women and Gender in Early America: from Settlement to the Civil War
HIS 3732:Women and Gender in Modern America: Civil War to the Present
HIS 3735:Women and Social Movements in U.S. History
HIS 3740:U.S.: Urban America
HIS 3750: The American South from Reconstruction to the Present
HIS 3760:History of New York City and Long Island
HIS 3780:Immigrants and the Catholic Church in the U.S.
HIS 3790:The Military in American History
HIS 3795:Technology and Science in 20th Century America
PHI 3540:American Philosophy
RCT 2040:American Public Address
THE 3510:Religion in the United States

Social Sciences (6 credits; no more than 3 credits to be taken in any one subject):  

Course CodeCourse Name
CSD 1710*:Phonetics
GOV 1350*:The American Experience
GOV 2160/ ESP 2160: American Environmental Politics and Policies
GOV 2240:Federalist Papers
GOV 2430:American Presidency
GOV 2510:American Political Parties and Interest Groups
GOV 2641:Foreign Policy of the United States
GOV 3330: American Political Thought of the 19th and 20th Centuries
GOV 3590:American Government and Business Relations
GOV 3800:American Econopolitics
SOC 1170:Inequality: Race, Class and Gender
SOC 1190: Sociology of Poverty in America
SOC 2410:Race and Ethnicity in America
SOC 2440:Gender Identity in Popular Culture
SOC 2450:Sociology of the Black Experience
SOC 2420:Immigration and Inequality
SOC/ANT 2750: The North American Indian

Art and Popular Culture (3 credits): 

Course CodeCourse Name
ART 1830:Racism in Film
ART 1840:Sexism in Cinema and Television
ART 2790:Contemporary Art and Culture, 1945-present
MUS 1230:History of American Popular Music
MUS 1260:American Musical Theater
MUS 1300:History of Jazz

*Pending approval by the Liberal Arts Faculty Council

Career Options

A minor in American Studies gives St. John’s students essential preparation for career occupational sectors that have some of the strongest growth in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these sectors include administration, management, public relations, market research, law and education.1  Each of these careers demands a high level of critical thinking, writing skills and experience in research. American Studies courses helps students meet this demand with a curriculum focused on the academic skills that employers require.  

Because an American Studies minor focuses students on the study of the United States, past and present, they are uniquely prepared to master still another skill that for-profit and corporate employers need from new employees: the ability to communicate, work with, understand and serve a diverse population.2 With its range of courses that embrace the full array of cultures in the United States, American Studies offers St. John’s students an education in diversity that no graduate should be without.

An American Studies minor is a vital component of St. John’s pre-law curriculum and a traditional launching pad for law school students. Law schools and firms want students to have the breadth of liberal arts knowledge that the minor provides. Because the courses in American Studies also address social problems and challenges that face the United States today, students are also well prepared for careers in wide range of community services, from arts and culture to public health and social work.

For students seeking careers in government, public policy and urban planning, a minor in American Studies is a perfect stepping stone. It gives students the opportunities to expand their knowledge of government and policy in the United States with courses in American literature, history, philosophy, theology and culture. The grounding in civic education that students receive with an American Studies is yet another important priority named by prospective employers of new college students.

An American Studies minor brings the best of the humanities together with the real world impact of the social sciences. As a result, it is specially suited for the St. John’s student looking to make a difference and extend their commitment to the St. John’s Vincentian mission by making a career out of serving the less fortunate. American Studies is perfect preparation for careers in non-profit management, economic development and social advocacy.

For assistance planning the transition from a minor in American Studies to a career, contact the Career Center or Dr. Fanuzzi.

1 See the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Career Guide to Industries”
2 For more information, see the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Project LEAP report, “The Essential Learning Outcomes.” (PDF)

More Information

Robert Fanuzzi
Program Director
[email protected]

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