Undergraduate Experiential Learning
All undergraduates majoring in American Studies must fulfill an Experiential Learning component. This requirement may be fulfilled in the form of either a Service Learning Course or an approved Internship.
Option 1: Service Learning Course
A service learning course is a course that contains a substantial project in service geared toward the community.
For example, as a part of a course on farming in American culture, the students worked with a local nonprofit devoted to providing fresh produce to underserved urban areas. They developed and implemented an oral history project that investigated inner-city residents' attitudes towards the new urban gardens in their neighborhoods. In another class on cross-cultural studies, students researched and interviewed the former parishioners of a small church near campus that a local art institution was turning into a public art space, with the goal of ensuring that the revitalization project would include local voices and stories.
Option 2: Internship
An internship is treated like a 3-credit course, requiring a minimum of 50 hours per each credit, or 10 hours per week. All internships will be designed in close consultation with the department's internship advisor and participating organizations or institutions. The internship plan should be discussed and approved at least five months prior to the internship's start date. St. Louis is rich in important institutions in which American Studies students have held internships, including: the Art Museum, the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, the History Museum, the Missouri Historical Society Research Center, the Circuit Court Records Project, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the International Institute, the Contemporary Art Museum, and the City Museum—just to name a few.