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American Studies

About the major

American Studies is a multidisciplinary field that examines the United States in a global context. A major in American Studies allows students to appreciate the diversity of American society and the complexity of American identity. It provides an understanding of how the US has shaped the world and how the world has shaped the US.

The curriculum includes the study of media, foreign policy, history, economics, politics, and culture, providing a concentrated experience in the arts and social sciences. Undertaking a major in American Studies covers a wide range of units of study, supported by the largest concentration of US-focused scholars in the southern hemisphere.

Requirements for completion

Requirements for the major and minor in American Studies are listed in the American Studies unit of study table.


Upon completing a Bachelor’s degree, students can pursue a year-long research program that involves the production of an 18,000-20,000 word thesis. Previous honours students have researched such diverse subjects as: voting behaviour and inequality, labour relations in the NFL, political memes, Hollywood bromances, race and fashion, third wave feminism and zines, and the US-led occupation of Iraq.

As part of Honours, students attend two seminars - AMST4115 American Studies: Theory and Practice, and AMST4112 Cultural Capital: Kant to Kardashian.

Honours admission requirements

Admission to honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies or Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and requires the completion of a major in American Studies with an average of 70% or above or approval of the Program Coordinator.

Prior to commencing Honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and, where undertaking the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, a second major.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the American Studies honours unit of study page.

Contacts and further information

Further information and current academic coordinators can be found on the United States Studies Centre website.