American Studies Department
Explore American Studies
FLEXIBILITY: Students can tailor the major to their particular areas of interest, drawing from a wide range of course offerings in the arts, literature, social sciences, and history. The major is equally suitable for students who want to teach elementary school or high school social studies, who want to go to law school, who want to work in the corporate world, who want to work in law enforcement, or who want to go on to graduate school. Internship opportunities abound, and the department supports those students who want to study abroad.
RELEVANCE: The United States is the richest and the most powerful nation in the world and is deeply enmeshed in global political, economic, and cultural forces. American Studies explores both the development of American society and culture and the ways in which the world responds to the United States.
SUCCESS: American Studies majors regularly win top honors at the college. Since 2002, American Studies majors have been awarded the John A. Murray Award in History, the Mary Ann Davis Prize in English, The Deirdre McKiernan Hetzler Award in Women and Gender Studies, the Kate Gleason Award in Women and Gender Studies, the Ruth Ann Constantino Award for outstanding academic improvement, the Excellus Undergraduate Diversity Scholarship, and the St. John Fisher College Award for Childhood Education. Moreover, American Studies graduates have been accepted into top graduate and professional programs, and have found success in their chosen career paths.
The American Studies Major
- Helps students to understand multiple approaches to the study of American culture;
- Develops student ability to conduct research into various dimensions of American culture, and to communicate the results of their research;
- Prepares students for advanced study in American Studies and related fields, as well as careers in professions such as education, law, public administration, and business.
American Studies graduates can find careers in a wide range of fields that depend on knowledge of American culture as well as on the critical thinking and communication skills that are developed through the American Studies curriculum. Graduates often work in museums, government offices, or publishing houses; are employed as journalists, writers, or editors; become teachers; or embark on careers in law, medicine, business, or urban planning. American Studies graduates can also pursue a graduate degree in American Studies or in a variety of related disciplines, including those found in the three concentrations of the American Studies major.
American Studies is an excellent major for students interested in Adolescence Social Studies certification. For more information, please see the website for the Adolescence Education Department.
Cindy Clynes '07
Librarian at the College of Southern Maryland
Ever since I was in high school, I wanted to pursue a career in Archival Science, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about it. The American Studies major at St. John Fisher College helped make it possible for me. The flexibility of the American Studies curriculum gave me the ability and the responsibility to choose my own path as I pursued my degree.
The research skills that I developed as an undergraduate were critical to my success in graduate school and in my career. After graduating from Fisher, I earned a Masters in Library and Information Science at Long Island University, graduating in May 2009. Currently I am working at the College of Southern Maryland as a Reference Librarian where I’m responsible for implementing their first strategic plan for the College Archives.