American Studies Degree Programs

Learn about degree options in American Studies, including education levels and course topics. Continue reading for information on career options and related salaries. Schools offering Culture & Media Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degrees Could I Get in American Studies?

You could first pursue a bachelor's degree program in the field, a 4-year course of study that could prepare you for graduate degree programs in related areas. At the graduate level, you could earn a master's degree or a doctoral degree (Ph.D.).

Degree Levels Bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees are available
Common Courses Politics, history, art, economics, critical theory
Possible Careers Teacher, museum technician, archivist
Potential Median Salary (2018) $78,470 - postsecondary teachers
$52,240 - archivists
$53,780 - curators
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for all postsecondary teachers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Could I Take?

Coursework in American studies degree programs commonly includes classes in history, economics and politics. You could also learn about American art, culture and notable American leaders. In graduate degree programs, you could learn about advanced research and professional, academic publication. Classes you might take include:

  • Introduction to critical theory
  • Cultural analysis
  • Feminist theory
  • Historiography
  • Political science methods
  • Early American history
  • The American Revolution

American studies programs are often interdisciplinary. You may take courses from departments including media studies, communication, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, theater/performing arts and English.

What Jobs Could I Get?

A program in American studies can help provide the critical thinking, interpretation, writing and research skills you'll need to work as an archivist, museum technician or curator of a museum or historical society. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that curators often hold dual degrees in museum studies and in a specialized subject, such as American studies (www.bls.gov).

If you earn a doctorate in American studies, you could be qualified to work as a postsecondary teacher of American studies, history, African American history, women's studies or a related field. You could work as an adjunct, or contract-based, instructor, or you could work as a full-time tenured professor.

What Might My Salary Be?

According to the BLS, postsecondary teachers earned a median annual salary of $78,470 as of May 2018. Top-paid professionals in this field took home upwards of $121,100, according to the BLS. The median annual salary for archivists was $52,240 as of that time, and that of curators was $53,780, the BLS reported.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • University of Pennsylvania

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
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