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Pitzer College    
 
    
 
  Dec 14, 2017
 
2016-2017 Pitzer Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

American Studies Major


Requirements for the Major


An essential component of the American Studies curriculum is AMST 103 JT , a prerequisite course that is team-taught by members of the intercollegiate faculty in the spring semester. This course is an excellent introduction to the themes, concerns and methodologies of American Studies.

Before their junior year, majors consult with a member of the intercollegiate faculty to plan a program of study.  Majors are required to complete nine courses approved by their American Studies faculty advisor, plus a senior seminar and a senior thesis.  These requirements provide an introduction to the field, a broad knowledge of the United States, in-depth experience in a particular area of study (either a topic or a discipline) and a capstone senior project.

There are two tracks available for completion of the major, one with more of a disciplinary focus, the other with a thematic focus. Students must choose which track they will follow by the beginning of their junior year.  Those who opt for the theme-based track must choose a theme in consultation with his or her advisor and submit a 3-4 page proposal by week 5 of the fall semester of the junior year.

Track 1:

I.   To introduce students to the field of American Studies, students take:  (1) AMST 103 JT  , a prerequisite course that is team-taught by members of the intercollegiate faculty in the spring semester to introduce the themes, concerns and methodologies of American Studies

II.  To provide a broad knowledge and set of skills in the field, students take: (2-3) A two-semester survey of U.S. history (at Pitzer, HIST 025 PZ  and HIST 026 PZ  or equivalents); (4) A survey-level course in another discipline focusing on the U.S., such as art history, literature, music, sociology; (5) A course in Africana, Asian American or Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies, or one course on the histories and/or cultures of Native Americans

III. To provide depth as well as breadth, students take: (6) AMST 180 SC  , the American Studies Seminar, normally taken in the fall of the junior year; (7, 8, 9) Three seminar or upper-division courses in a single discipline (e.g. anthropology, art history, English)

IV. For their capstone experience in American Studies, students must complete: (10,11) AMST 190 JT  , Senior Seminar and AMST 191 PZ , Senior Thesis. All students are required to write a senior thesis by enrolling in a two-course, two-credit sequence. Students will enroll in  AMST 190 JT  a seminar, in the fall semester. In the spring semester, students enroll in AMST 191 PZ  and complete the thesis under the direction of their thesis adviser and second reader, at least one of whom must be from the student’s home campus.

 

Track 2:

I.   To introduce students to the field of American Studies, students take:  (1) AMST 103 JT  , a prerequisite course that is team-taught by members of the intercollegiate faculty in the spring semester to introduce the themes, concerns and methodologies of American Studies

II.  To provide a broad knowledge and set of skills in the field, students take: (2-3) A two-semester survey of U.S. history (at Pitzer, HIST 025 PZ  and HIST 026 PZ  or equivalents); (4) A course in Africana, Asian American or Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies, or one course on the histories and/or cultures of Native Americans

III. To provide depth as well as breadth, students take: (5) AMST 180 SC  , the American Studies Seminar, normally taken in the fall of the junior year; (6, 7, 8, 9) Four courses drawn from at least two departments that focus on a specific theme (e.g. Race and Social Justice in the U.S.; the U.S. in a Transnational Context)

IV. For their capstone experience in American Studies, students must complete: (10,11) AMST 190 JT  , Senior Seminar and AMST 191 PZ , Senior Thesis.  All students are required to write a senior thesis by enrolling in a two-course, two-credit sequence. Students will enroll in AMST 190 JT  a seminar, in the fall semester. In the spring semester, students enroll in AMST 191 PZ  and complete the thesis under the direction of their thesis adviser and second reader, at least one of whom must be from the student’s home campus.

 

 

Honors:


Students whose GPA equals or exceeds 3.5 both overall and in the four core courses required for the major (AMST 103 JT , AMST 180 SC  , HIST 025 PZ  and HIST 026 PZ ) and who have completed the senior thesis with a grade of A, are eligible for honors in American Studies. Candidates for honors also must pass an oral examination on the thesis, administered by a committee consisting of the two thesis readers plus one outside reader. The awarding of honors in American Studies is at the discretion of this oral examination committee.