American Studies Minor

American Studies involves an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the history, cultures, politics, and economy of the United States, its colonial antecedents, and its indigenous peoples.   At UMSL, the minor enables students also to study the city and region of St. Louis, a quintessentially American city.   

Students interested in this minor should contact the coordinator of American Studies for advice and information.   

There are 18 hours required in the minor, and in completing these hours candidates must take courses from at least three disciplines.  Candidates must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better in the minor. Three hours of the minor may be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, and a maximum of nine hours will be accepted in transfer.  Candidates wishing to take American Studies courses in the Honors College do not need to be members of the Honors College but must register for the courses via the Honors College.    

Requirements for the Minor  

Completion of the American Studies Minor requires at least 18 credit hours (6 courses) including an interdisciplinary introductory course.   Of the remaining 15 hours, at least six hours must be taken from a small group of core courses designed to give students a foundation for further study and at least six hours from a larger group of elective courses which will broaden students’ experience or enable them to specialize in specific areas. At least six hours must be taken from advanced level (3000 and 4000) undergraduate courses.   Students are recommended to include in this advanced work an American Studies “capstone”, an option that may be fulfilled in several ways, which are described below.

Introductory Course
HIST 2160 (must be taken in first 12 hours of the minor)3
Core Courses
Choose at least one of the following:3
ENGL 3710American Literature Before 18653
ENGL 3720American Literature After 18653
Choose at least one of the following:3
American Civilization to 1865 (MOTR HIST 101)
American Civilization 1865 to Present (MOTR HIST 102)
Introduction to American Politics (MOTR POSC 101)
American Traditions: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Elective Courses
Choose at least two courses from the following American Studies electives6
Native Peoples of North America
Art History
Indigenous Arts of the Americas
Art of the United States
Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice
Criminal Law
Violence in America
Communities and Crime
Gender, Crime, and Justice
Race, Crime, and Justice
History of American Economic Development
Selected Major American Writers II
Modern American Fiction
History of St. Louis
Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll: The 1960s in Song, Fashion, Dating, and Protest
Gender Studies
Women and Social Movements in U.S. History
Politics of Gender in the United States
Diversity and Social Justice
Gender and Body Image in Media and Culture
Inquiries in The Humanities (topic must be approved by American Studies coordinator)
Inquiries in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (topic must be approved by American Studies coordinator)
Advanced Honors Seminar in the Humanities (topic must be approved by American Studies coordinator)
Advanced Honors Seminar in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (topic must be approved by American Studies coordinator)
Military and Veterans Studies
Music History
History of Rock Music (MOTR MUSC 100RP)
Introduction to Jazz (MOTR MUSC 100J)
Popular Music in America
Musical Journey of the Native North American
American Music
Political Science
Law, Politics and Society
African Americans and the Political System
The American Presidency
The Politics of Identity and Social Justice
The Politics of Gender in the United States
Civil Liberties
Public Opinion and Political Participation
The Politics of Poverty and Welfare
Social Problems
Urban Sociology
The City
Introduction to Feminist and Gender Theory
Sociology of Wealth and Poverty

Student considering other elective choices must work with the American Studies faculty coordinator to obtain approval to apply these courses to the minor.

Capstone options:

Students are encouraged to complete a capstone for the American Studies minor.  A capstone course can satisfy three credit hours of the 18 hour minor.  Experiences that could serve as a capstone include appropriate departmental capstone courses, independent studies, research projects, and internships.  Interested students should work with the coordinator of American Studies to have a capstone course approved.