American Studies at Fordham
What is American Studies at Fordham?
The American Studies major at Fordham studies American culture from a variety of different disciplines. The program of study focuses on the intellectual, social, and material cultures of the United States. The wide variety of departments from which American Studies courses are drawn allows students to put together diverse intellectual interests in a cohesive program of study. This focus on interdisciplinarity allows students to develop a complex understanding of American life, culture, and history through a variety of perspectives.
In addition, the American Studies major is designated an honors major at Fordham. Because of this designation, the program is small, usually capped at 17 students per class. Furthermore, the GPA requirement of at least a 3.4 for entry ensures that the students in the American Studies program are committed to a course of academic excellence. The size of the American Studies program and its dedication to academic excellence gives majors the opportunity to develop close relationships with other majors and with the faculty affiliated with the program.
What is the structure of the American Studies program at Fordham?
The American Studies major is a series of ten courses. Three specific courses are required of the major: an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American culture, a seminar exploring how an interdisciplinary approach can help define "America," and a senior seminar, which culminates in the production of a senior thesis. Students must choose a concentration, and take at least four courses in that field. The three concentrations are Cultural Products: the Arts, Literature, and Media; Diversity and Difference; and Power, Politics, and Institutions. Students are also required to demonstrate disciplinary diversity by taking at least one course in each of four areas: Literature; Art, music, theater, or media; Religion or philosophy; and History or social science. These requirements foster the major's ability to examine America's diverse culture from several different fields and disciplines.
The American Studies minor takes the junior seminar, and five courses that cover four disciplines.