American Studies

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American Studies is an interdisciplinary major that explores American culture and identity We study literature, history, film, food, media, music, philosophy, art, and politics to achieve a multi-layered understanding of our society and what it means to be American. AMS has an intimate, open atmosphere and a curriculum unencumbered by traditional disciplinary boundaries, a place for freewheeling conversations about the American experience. AMS courses include

  • Travel courses to great American cities, including New Orleans, Charleston, and Memphis
  • American popular culture
  • Hip hop
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • American technology
  • The American West
  • Rock and roll
  • American cinema
  • Martin Luther King
  • Live on Broadway (trips to NYC)
  • Sports in American life

American Studies is an exciting, practical 36-credit (12 course) major that

  • Explores American culture from multiple perspectives
  • Broadens career choices
  • Provides individual attention from professors in a variety of fields who help you find jobs
  • Builds unique networking opportunities
  • Helps students become socially and historically aware citizens

We also have a flexible 18-hour minor that can enhance your portfolio: the AMS Introduction course plus any five AMS courses. The minor works equally well with liberal arts, education, fine arts, choir college, and business school majors.

American Studies is also an ideal double major. The flexibility of our program makes it possible to combine American Studies with other majors.

American Studies prepares you for diverse careers. Among the possibilities are

  • public policy
  • law
  • education
  • journalism
  • film
  • music
  • arts administration
  • library science
  • publishing
  • businesses that welcome broadly educated applicants
  • public relations

American Studies faculty are among the best teachers and most published scholars at Rider, recruited from History, English, Sociology, Philosophy, Education, Business, Legal Studies, and Fine Arts. Many have published major books and written for publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and prominent academic journals. They have appeared in major media outlets such as NPR, CNN, and CBS.

American Studies is more than just a curriculum. We sponsor social gatherings, networking opportunities, a distinguished-speaker series, an American Studies Club, and an active alumni club. If you choose American Studies as a major or minor, you will enjoy new friendships and receive individual attention extending far beyond the classroom.

The Honors program: The American Studies Honors program gives seniors the opportunity to write a culminating paper on a topic of their choice under the supervision of a mentor. Topics can come from a variety of disciplines, including history, cinema, literature, or popular culture.

NEW | How can I succeed with this major? (pdf)

Whom do I contact for more information?
To learn more about the innovative and exciting courses, social gatherings, and community activities we offer, please contact:

Headshot of Brooke Hunter
Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
LAH 117

Teaches American history including courses on the American Revolution, Native American and environmental history. She is currently working on a socio-economic study of the mid-Atlantic region during the Revolutionary era. (Ph.D., Delaware)