American Studies

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Major
  • Minor

Our American studies program is both challenging and supportive. We give you the mental tools to take on challenging work more easily. Our program also supports Stetson American Studies International, an exchange program for international students of American studies, and the Student Research in Science and Religion program, which allows you to research topics related to the cultural impact of science and religion. Through American studies, you can also pursue experiential learning projects, teaching internships and internships at public history sites.

Related programs:
History International Studies


View the program requirements.



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Program Overview

A unique feature of the American studies program is the Focus Area, which enables you to shape over a third of your major or minor yourself. You will have the opportunity to focus on topics that interest you and explore connections across fields. With the Focus Area, you can enrich your study of the arts with courses in literature, music and photography, or to understand American politics, you can take courses in political science, sociology and history.

Learn more about the Department of American Studies.

American Studies is the program for you if...

  • you loved your classes in history, social studies, or civics. American studies courses will help you understand what makes the U.S.A. tick. Do you like to watch history documentaries or visit American historic sites? We'll work with that interest to give you a broader and deeper understanding of American culture, its promises and its problems—and what you can contribute on the American scene.
  • you take courses in many fields and find it hard to decide which one to major in. As an interdisciplinary field, American Studies lets you use a number of different fields as part of your major. So in American Studies, you can major in the relation of many different fields rather than focusing on only one.

American Studies Distinctive

In American Studies, you shape over a third of your major yourself. Go ahead—keep exploring! With the Focus Area, you choose four courses from different disciplines that deal with a common theme, for example, culture and the arts, gender and popular culture, race and politics, or religion and values. In Class Search, look for courses particularly well suited to the Focus Area under both Subject (for AMST courses) and Interdisciplinary Programs (for AMST-Attribution courses). Of the 11 courses required for the American Studies major, four of them are in the student self-defined Focus Area.


The faculty associated with the program include many across the university. Our faculty are primarily focused on teaching and on you, as a student. Among our core faculty, Paul Croce has twice received Stetson University's HAND award for research.

  • Grady Ballenger, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, English
  • Michael Barnes, PhD, University of South Carolina, English
  • Shawnrece Campbell, PhD, Kent State University, Africana studies and English
  • Paul J. Croce, PhD, Brown University, history
  • Andy Dehnart, MFA, Bennington College, communication
  • Emily Mieras, PhD, College of William and Mary, history
  • Steven Smallpage, PhD, Michigan State University, political science
  • Sven Smith, PhD, University of Florida, sociology
  • John Tichenor, PhD, Florida State University, business administration

Career Significance

How do Americans think? What have they done in the past, and what are US citizens likely to do in the future? Understanding Americans is preparation for many jobs. In particular, American Studies majors have gone on to work in the State Department, libraries, art galleries, photography, museums, university teaching, university administration, high schools, city planning, scientific research, counseling, writing for magazines and web pages, the law and the music business.

Success Stories

  • Sara Cotner, Founder and Executive Director, Montessori For All
  • Ian Guthrie, Director, Pathfinder Program, Hopkins School
  • Scott Haugner, Founder of Techne, a scientific research organization
  • Brendan Kingsley, Kingsley Imaging, Fine Art Printing & Finishing
  • David Marcell, Development Officer and Acting President, Skidmore College
  • Jay Mechling, Professor of American Studies, University of California, Davis
  • Brian Mistler, Clinical Psychologist
  • Robert Redd, Executive Director, New Smyrna Museum of History
  • Ryan Smith, Professor of History, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Cory Suter, Attorney and Counselor at Law, and Photographer

Career Outlook

A degree in American Studies has traditionally been one of the paths to graduate education in law or public policy, but students in Stetson's American Studies program will find a variety and breadth of different opportunities for them, including entry into education, human resources, travel industry, insurance and writing-related career sectors. More than 40% of career openings are for candidates with 0-2 years of experience, indicating a strong demand for new graduates.

Source: Burning Glass Technologies 2019.

Use the Career Insight tool to see what opportunities look like for you.

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