American Studies

Programs of Study

UMass Lowell offers both a major and a minor in American Studies, as well as a combined BA/MA option in the Economic and Social Development of regions. For the latest course information please visit the UMass Lowell on-line Academic Catalog.

The Major in American Studies

The major requires 36-45 credits. All students majoring in American Studies are required to take the following courses:  

  • Values in American Culture
  • U.S. History to 1877 and U.S. History since 1877
  • History of American Literature I and History of American Literature II
  • A course in research methods, either: 
    • Introduction to Historical Methods
    • Research I: The Basics
    • Sociological Research I 
    • Critical Methods of Literary Inquiry
  • American Studies Seminar or Directed Study

Please see the on-line Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions.

In addition, students select courses from the arts, humanities, and social sciences in which they analyze American culture, social structures and problems, and avenues of change. These courses are selected with guidance from the faculty in American Studies. Students are also encouraged to complete at least one internship/practicum in a professional area of interest.

Students have two options for organizing these courses: The Discipline-Based/General Option or the Thematic-Based Option.

Students following the Discipline-Based Option will choose two disciplines from which to take 12 credits at the 300 level or above (six credits from each discipline) and one interdisciplinary course at the 300 level or above.

Students choosing the Thematic-Based Option will identify a theme to explore and choose five courses from the list approved for each theme. Three of these courses must be at the 300 level or higher. Click on the themes below to see listings of approved courses: 

All students are also encouraged to do a practicum. 

BA/MA Option in Economic and Social Development of Regions

The American Studies Program offers a five-year BA/MA option in conjunction with the graduate program in Economic and Social Development of Regions. The option allows students to take select courses from the master's program graduate offerings while completing the American Studies major. For more information please contact Michael Millner from American Studies.


A minor in American Studies consists of 18-24 credits selected from the list maintained by the program coordinator. Read more about the American Studies minor in the UMass Lowell Academic catalog.