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.


Core Requirements Credit Hours
GAMST 200. Introduction to American Studies 3
Elective: One course from any of the groups below 3
Multicultural Studies  
Choose two from the courses below: 6
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: 6
ARTH 380. American Art to 1870 or  
ARTH 382. 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  
PHIL 370. American Philosophy  
POSC 330. American Political Thought  
SMAD 372. Media History  
THEA 485. American Theatre  
History and Politics  
Choose two from the courses below: 6
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  



Program director may approve course substitutions, including AMST 490.