American Studies (Bachelor of Arts)
Other Programs Available
What does it mean to be American? Where does America begin and end? How has diversity shaped American culture? If you’ve always been curious about the answers to these questions, then getting a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in American studies from Creighton University might be the perfect option for you.
When you pursue a BA in American studies, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills it takes to bring critical insights to the study of the American experience in all its diversity—past and present. Creighton’s faculty members aim to stimulate critical and creative thinking through interdisciplinary and comparative study with attention to transnational issues and current theoretical frameworks.
As an American studies major, you’ll immerse yourself in all aspects of America, including: literature and film, politics and social movements, history and popular culture, race and ethnicity, sports, philosophy and religion. The list goes on and on, and features even more specific topics like jazz, hip-hop and performance art, baseball and boxing, the American Revolution, Apocalypse Now, museums and mega churches, and Moby Dick.
Minor in American Studies
The American studies minor complements a wide range of majors by offering interdisciplinary approaches to the study of American life.
Studies conducted by the American Studies Association indicate that the greatest value of the American studies major is diverse thinking. In no other curriculum is the student offered such a wide exposure to thinking and scholarship in so many areas: political, intellectual, social and economic history, literature, religion, music, art, folklore, and material culture are all studies in American studies programs.
As such, the American studies major (and approach) provides a demanding challenge for the motivated, independent thinkers who are seeking a well-rounded preparation for life…and for careers in a variety of fields: from teaching (at the high-school or college level), to law, journalism, social work, medicine, government, business, museum work and city planning, to name a few.”
At Creighton, this program will prepare you particularly well for life after college through opportunities for research and internships.
- Advanced critical thinking skills
- How to situate America, Americans and the American experience within global and transnational contexts
- How to work with the wide range of sources, methods and theoretical frameworks that are characteristic of American studies scholarship
- How to design and conduct original interdisciplinary research
- Written, oral, visual and digital humanities presentation methods
AMS 307: Introduction to American Studies
This course provides an introduction to the field of American Studies, which seeks to understand the complex reality of “the American experience” in all its variety. Topics include the history of American Studies as a discipline as well as its methodologies, central concepts, and emerging questions. Students will examine a broad topic from multiple disciplinary perspectives, with an emphasis on developing and employing the methodological tools common to contemporary American Studies scholarship. The topic/content areas will be selected by the instructor, based upon his/her area of scholarly expertise.
AMS 308: Theories and Methods in American Studies
This course introduces students to prevailing theories and methodologies in American Studies. Students will examine in a critical fashion interdisciplinary studies of the meaning and significance of “Americanness” in historical, cross-cultural, and even trans-national contexts. The complex relationships between ethnic, religious, racial, and ideological groups in American society will receive critical attention.
AMS 391: Senior Seminar in American Studies
A research seminar required of all American Studies majors and co-majors.
Recent American studies students have completed internships in Omaha at:
- Durham Museum
- Joslyn Art Museum
- Douglas County Historical Museum
- Sarpy County Museum
- Strategic Air and Space Museum
- Boys Town Hall of History
- Creighton University Archives
This program includes individual research mentoring for each student. Since 2009, approximately 80% of American studies majors have won competitive grants for summer undergraduate research. About 90% have presented their research at academic conferences or local cultural institutions.
Top American studies students can qualify to enroll in an advanced senior seminar in which students develop research projects into scholarly articles for publication.
Before declaring the major, you must successfully complete AMS 307 Introduction to American Studies with a grade of “C” or better.