- Undergraduate Information
MINOR IN AMERICAN STUDIES
The American Studies minor at Saint Louis University consists of 18 total credit hours: 3 credit hours from the department core, plus 15 additional credit hours. Nine of these additional credits must be selected from the American Studies department. Six credits may be selected from courses in other departments as approved by the student's advisor. Courses from other departments or programs will only be considered for credit toward the American Studies minor if they are not being counted toward another major or minor.
The Department Core
ASTD 120—Investigating America (3 credit hours)
MAJOR IN AMERICAN STUDIES
The American Studies major at Saint Louis University consists of 30 total credit hours: 9 credit hours from the department core, plus 21 additional credit hours selected either from American Studies or related fields. Students must maintain a portfolio of their work in close consultation with an advisor.
The Department Core
- ASTD 120—Investigating America (3 credit hours)
- Experience Component (3 credit hours)
- Service Learning Course or
- Approved Internship
- Capstone Course (3 credit hours)
- ASTD 410—Senior Seminar
The Major Emphasis
In addition to the core, students who major in American Studies are required to take 21 additional hours of American Studies courses or courses in other departments as approved by the student's advisor. These courses should cohere around a thematic or disciplinary emphasis. A thematic emphasis is organized around such broad concerns as American identities, visual culture, religious experience, the American metropolis, political thought, and social movements. The disciplinary emphasis is organized around a field such as history, international studies, literature, sociology, political science, theology, studio arts, or women's studies.
At least 12 of these 21 hours must be fulfilled by courses offered by the Department of American Studies. Courses from other departments or programs will only be considered for credit towards the American Studies major if they are not being counted toward another major or minor.
Experience Component (2 Options)
The purpose of the experience component is to ground the American Studies curriculum in the Jesuit mission of the university, and to engage students in the life of the community beyond the campus. Students will arrange their service learning experience through an American Studies course in close consultation with faculty; all projects will have clearly defined purposes, goals, avenues of reflection, and outcomes.
Option 1: Service Learning Course
A service learning course is a course that contains a substantial project in service geared toward the community.
Option 2: Internships
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.
The Capstone Project
Through the required Senior Seminar course, students spend one semester, in close consultation with their advisor, planning, developing, completing and presenting a substantial project. This capstone project enables students to put forth their best scholarly and creative work as a final product of their undergraduate education. Students may elect to produce a traditional research paper, or to develop a project through a variety of media, including creative writing, video and film, audio production, performance, photography, painting, sculpture, or web design. As part of the Senior Seminar, students will also create a portfolio of previous work in consultation with their advisor. The portfolio will both reflect their best work in a range of formats and contexts and serve as a record of their work within the major. It will include select term papers, exams, essays, creative work, internship and service reports, notices of awards and citations, and the capstone project itself.