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American Studies

Degree Options: Major, Minor
Locations: Lincoln Center, Rose Hill
Visit the American Studies Department

What makes America so, well, American?

Statue of Liberty and Skyline - LGCulture. Diversity. Power. These three words define America and its enormous global influence. But how did we get here? What makes America so, well, American? The American studies major at Fordham is the interdisciplinary study of the cultures, ideas, and institutions that make up the nation.

American Studies is as diverse as the country we inhabit. You’ll study with faculty and students from departments all over Fordham, including African and African American studies, American Catholic studies, art history and music, English, history, Latin American and Latino studies, philosophy, political science, urban studies and sociology.

What draws these majors together? The desire to follow one thread in the American tapestry, and find where it weaves with another thread—and another, and another—until we see an expansive image in all its complexity.

You will need excellent grades, sharp writing skills, and a faculty reference to get into our small, competitive department. No lie: The party of the year is the Senior Thesis Presentation. It’s a heady mix of ideas, community, and fun for students and faculty.

Of course, you’ll learn more than American studies here. You’ll also study philosophy, theology, economics, mathematics, languages, science, and the performing arts through Fordham’s common core curriculum, the centerpiece of our liberal arts education.

Program Highlights

The American Studies major at Fordham offers three concentrations at Rose Hill or Lincoln Center. Cultural Products examines the history of the arts, literature, and media in America and their place in society. Diversity and Difference takes up the problem of American social and cultural pluralism. Power, Politics, and Institutions analyzes the political and institutional frameworks that shape our lives.

Take tours with our faculty to places like the New-York Historical Society, Green-Wood Cemetery, and El Museo del Barrio. Guest lecturers and performers bring their work to campus throughout the year. Speak up: you’ll make your voice heard through our open forums and salon discussions.

Our students pursue internship in many fields:

  • Politics
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Television and Media
  • Theaters
  • Museums
  • Service and Nonprofit Organizations

Like many of our students, you could be a top contender for major national fellowships including the Fulbright, Madison, Truman, and New York Urban fellowships.

Our students see the rest of the world as well, studying in at Oxford, Cambridge, the University of Melbourne, and the University of Florence, to name a few options.

Sample Courses

The Journalist and the Law
Films of Moral Struggle
Affirmative Action: American Dream
Catholicism and Democracy
Digital Media and Cyberculture
Ethics and Economics
Constitutional Law
Gender, Race, Class

Life After Fordham

You’ll hone skills that employers value: analytical thinking, strong writing skills, and self-direction. Many of our graduates enter the work world immediately after leaving Fordham, working in fields as diverse as law, primary and secondary education, nonprofit organizations, government, and business.

Aiming for an advanced degree? Many of our students pursue graduate programs in American history, literature, art, or philosophy.

If you set your sights on the LSATs, you’re in good company too. A third of our graduates earn a law degree.

Learn More About the American Studies Degree