American Studies, B.A.
Saint Louis University's American studies program uses film, food, fashion, buildings, sports, popular media, the environment, art, literature and historical texts in order to understand the diverse cultures of the United States and its place in the world in the past and present.
- American studies is interdisciplinary, using a variety of sources and methods (literature, social science, film and community institutions) to understand American history and cultures.
- American studies is global and diverse, paying close attention to international and regional relations, as well as to the variety of racial, ethnic, religious and other social or cultural communities within and around its borders.
- American studies is practical, which means the everyday is taken as seriously as the esoteric, and the lessons learned in the classroom are applied to work in communities and public institutions.
As a result, SLU's American studies degree trains students in critical thinking, complex problem solving, and clear written and oral communication.
American studies graduates from SLU have experience working in diverse groups and applying their knowledge to the world around them. These are sought-after skills transferable to a variety of fields. Graduates from SLU's American studies program have gone on to work in higher and secondary education, media and communications, nonprofit organizations, government, political organizing, social work, law, museums and other cultural institutions.
A major in American studies is 30 credits, including the introductory course, ASTD 1000 Investigating America: An Introduction to American Studies (3 cr), an experience component (a three-credit internship or service-learning course) and ASTD 4960 Senior Capstone (3 cr). The remaining 21 credits are selected from American Studies courses. With the approval of the student's departmental advisor, up to nine of these credits can be taken in related fields.
Courses from other departments or programs will only count towards the American studies major if they are not being counted toward another major or minor.
Fieldwork and Research Opportunities
Internships completed through SLU's American studies program are student-designed in close collaboration with the department's internship coordinator and participating organizations and institutions. Internships count as a three-credit course, requiring 50 hours per credit, or 10 hours per week. Past students have partnered with the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, International Institute, Missouri History Museum, Circuit Court Records Project, City Museum and Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, among other sites.
A degree in American studies provides a broad education that prepares graduates for careers that emphasize creative thinking, strong writing, critical analysis, clear communication, skilled research and civic and community engagement.
The following list is just a small sample of jobs for American studies graduates:
- Exhibit designer
- Foundation director
- Grant writer
- Labor organizer
- Nonprofit management
- Public policy analyst
- Public relations
- Social worker
All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory course work is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file. College admission test scores (ACT or SAT) are used as an additional indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University and are used as qualifiers for certain University scholarship programs. To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, the applicant must be graduating from an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the General Education Development (GED) test.
Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED. An official high school transcript and official test scores are required only of those students who have attempted fewer than 24 transferable semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit. Those having completed 24 or more of college credit need only submit a transcript from previously attended college(s). In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the office of admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University.
All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:
- Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
- Proof of financial support must include:
- A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
- A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
- Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:
- Scholarships: awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
- Financial Aid: provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.
For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, applicants should apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.
For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at http://finaid.slu.edu.
- Graduates will be able to explain the development and contexts of American cultures and ideas over time.
- Graduates will be able to comprehend the diversity of American cultures and experiences both within the nation-state and abroad.
- Graduates will be able to practice interdisciplinary research methods in the study of American cultures through critical interpretation of a wide variety of American cultural artifacts, such as material, visual, literary and popular.
- Graduates will be able to articulate arguments and information effectively in writing and presentations.
- Graduates will be able to synthesize American studies knowledge with surrounding communities and public life, particularly in service of questions of social justice and solidarity.
|College core requirements||57-66|
|For additional information about core courses|
|Required American Studies Courses|
|ASTD 1000||Investigating America: An Introduction to American Studies||3|
|ASTD 4910||Internship (Or an American Studies course with a Service Learning designation)||3|
|ASTD 4960||Senior Capstone||3|
|American Studies Elective Courses|
|American Studies coursework, or courses in other departments as approved by the student’s faculty mentor, are required. At least 12 of these credits must be fulfilled by courses in the Department of American Studies. These courses should cohere around a thematic or disciplinary emphasis. Thematic emphases may be organized around such topics as American identities, visual culture, religion, the American metropolis, political thought, or 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.||21|
Students majoring in American studies are required to build a portfolio that includes select research papers, exams, essays, creative work, internship and service reports, notices of awards and citations, evaluations, and the capstone project. Students build the portfolio over the course of the major in close consultation with their faculty mentor.
This required project enables students to put forth their best scholarly and creative work as a capstone to the major. Students spend one semester planning, developing, completing and presenting a senior thesis project in close consultation with the senior seminar instructor.
Students who pursue a major in American studies must earn a 2.00 GPA in the courses approved for completion of the major or minor. If a student's major GPA drops below 2.00, the student will be placed on academic program probation within the department. A student may remain on academic probation for no more than two consecutive semesters, or for three semesters total, before being dismissed from the major.
|Core Components and Credits|
|Foundations of Discourse||3|
|Diversity in the U.S.||3|
- Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses [numbered below 1000]).
- Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
- Complete Major Requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
- Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or elective credits to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
- Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Introduction to Literature for International Students (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses. In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
- Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
- Complete Dept/Program specific academic and performance requirements.
- Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
- Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
- Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.
Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.
Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.
This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.
|ASTD 1000||Investigating America: An Introduction to American Studies 1||3|
|ASTD 4910||Internship (May be substituted with a course taken for the major that has a service-learning designation.)||3|
|ASTD 4960||Senior Capstone||3|
Fulfills A&S core curriculum requirement in Cultural Diversity in the United States.
American Studies is an interdisciplinary field; as a result, many ASTD courses satisfy A&S core curriculum requirements. These may include Cultural Diversity in the United States, Global Citizenship, Literature, Social Science and Fine Arts, among others. American Studies majors may count courses for both their major requirements and core curriculum requirements, which would modify the roadmap above.
With approval of a major’s faculty mentor, nine of the ASTD course credits listed above may be fulfilled by relevant courses offered outside the Department of American Studies.