With a major in American Studies, you will develop creative research skills, learn to examine intersections between a variety of subjects, and develop a new critical appreciation for art, history, economics, and many more topics.

What courses will you take?

Todd Bowser (American Studies) presents his poster at the Student Research Symposium.

The B.A. in American Studies is an interdisciplinary program, allowing you to choose courses from different disciplines (such as the arts, history, literature, political science, psychology, economics, sociology) to analyze American culture, social structures and problems, and avenues of change.

Sample core courses include Values in American Culture, U.S. History to 1877, U.S. History since 1877, American Literary Traditions, Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to American Politics.

You have two options for organizing your coursework:

  • General Option — Choose two disciplines (such as arts and political science) and take two to three courses from each as well as an interdisciplinary course.
  • Thematic Option — Identify a theme to explore and choose five to six courses from the list approved for each theme. Themes include The City, the Environment and Technology in America; Class, Gender and Ethnicity in America; Popular Culture and the Arts in America; Conflict and War in American Culture.

Visit the Academic Catalog for a complete course listing and to learn about the American Studies minor.

You can also choose an American Studies concentration through the Bachelor of Liberal Arts program.

  • Degree Pathways are a semester-by-semester sequence of courses recommended for successful completion of a degree, diploma, credential or certificate from the university. The most current degree pathways are:

    Visit the Academic Catalog for all degree pathways, including those from prior enrollment years.
  • Students in American Studies develop the abilities necessary to: 

    1. Articulate the interrelationships between ideas, institutions, perspectives, and aesthetic forms as they have evolved in the United States. 
    2. Recognize the U.S. as home to a diversity of cultural norms and perspectives that affect all aspects of U.S. culture, politics, and society. 
    3. Identify and critically analyze the ways race, gender, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and ableness are embedded in perspectives, practices, and histories of United States culture, politics, and society. 
    4. Evaluate the ways in which the history of discriminatory practices and attitudes in the U.S. continues to create barriers for some and opportunities for others. 
    5. Develop sound research questions and strategies, and to gather, evaluate, interpret, and use information accurately, logically, and ethically; this includes the ability to evaluate information sources for authority, accuracy, and bias. 
    6. Employ interdisciplinary approaches to effectively interrogate social and political problems, and pose complex questions regarding the meanings and effects of U.S. cultural practices.

Why study American studies at UMass Lowell?

Students pose together at the UMass Lowell Student Research Symposium.

Expert Faculty

Engage with our nationally recognized faculty from the departments of English, History, Psychology, Sociology and Political Science. 

Mill building and smokestack in Lowell, Massachusetts

Lowell as a Classroom

The city of Lowell's rich history of literature, emerging technologies, industry, and immigration provides unique opportunities for fieldwork, archival research, urban archeology and internships.

Museum display of writer artifacts including a typewriter and books

Internships

Gain career-ready skills through internships with cultural institutions and media outlets. Our students have worked with:

  • Lowell's public access television
  • New England-area museums and living heritage sites
  • Open Source, a nationally syndicated public radio show
A Umass Lowell flag and United States of America flag

Bachelor’s-to-Master's Program

Get on the fast track to an advanced degree with our combined bachelor's-to-master's program.

  • Available to juniors and seniors with a grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Offers a continuous, coordinated sequence of courses
  • Reduced credit-hour requirements can save you time and money

What can you do with a degree in American studies?

Graduates from UMass Lowell's American Studies program gain strong writing and analytical skills, positioning them for careers in diverse fields including government, social services, education, journalism and business. Many graduates pursue graduate school in law, library and information sciences.

America flag hangs above speakers at the Annual Flag Ceremony that celebrates UMass Lowell student and alumni veterans and veterans in the community

Our versatile graduates can work in a wide range of industries. Job roles can include:

  • Documentary filmmaker
  • Foundation administrator
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Magazine or book editor
  • Museum curator
  • Press secretary
  • Public history educator
  • Radio show producer
  • Speech writer