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Dr. Laura Henigman
(540) 568-3752


American Studies

The minor in American studies is based on the desirability of fostering an understanding of the whole of American civilization through study in a variety of fields and topics. Students will select courses in three groups – multicultural studies, ideas and the arts, and history and politics – and from diverse fields including literature, history, the fine arts, philosophy and the social sciences. The American studies program is a flexible one that students can relate to their own individual interests and needs while exploring the interrelationships among diverse aspects of American culture and its changing ideas and values.

The minor program in American studies is open to all undergraduate students at JMU.

The requirement is the successful completion of 24 hours. Three of the 24 hours must consist of
GAMST 200, Introduction to American Studies (previously AMST 250). No more than nine of the 24 hours may come from 100- or 200-level courses. Students must take two courses from each of the groups listed and one elective course chosen from any of the groups. See the program coordinator for additional courses that may be substituted.

Required Courses

Core Requirements
Credit Hours
GAMST 200. Introduction to American Studies


Credit Hours
One course from any of the groups below
Multicultural Studies (choose two from the courses below):
     ANTH 265. People and Cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean
     ANTH 312. The Native Americans
     GENG 260. Survey of African American Literature
     HIST 320. Women in United States History
     HIST 355 or HIST 356. Afro-American History
     REL 330. African and African-American Religion
     SOCI 336. Race and Ethnicity
Ideas and the Arts (choose two from the courses below):
     ARTH 480. American Art to 1870
     or ARTH 482. American Art from 1870
     ARTH 484. Art of the Americas
     GENG 247. Survey of American Literature: From the Beginning to the Civil War
     or GENG 248. Survey of American Literature: From the Civil War
          to the Modern Period
     GMUS 203. Music in America
     SMAD 372. Media History
     THEA 485. American Theatre
     PHIL 370. American Philosophy
     POSC 330. American Political Thought
History and Politics (choose two from the courses below):
     GHIST 225. United States History
     GPOSC 225. U.S. Government
     HIST 310. American Business History
     POSC 369. Political Parties and Elections or
     POSC 385. The U.S. Congress
     SCOM 346. Free Speech in America


Note: AMST 490 may be substituted with prior approval of the program coordinator.