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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


Elective: 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 380. 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


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:


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.