COVID-19 Update: To help students through this crisis, The Princeton Review will continue our "Enroll with Confidence" refund policies. For full details, please click here.

We are experiencing sporadically slow performance in our online tools, which you may notice when working in your dashboard. Our team is fully engaged and actively working to improve your online experience. If you are experiencing a connectivity issue, we recommend you try again in 10-15 minutes. We will update this space when the issue is resolved.


American Studies is the academic analysis of the various movements, cultures, and subcultures of North America and (mostly) the United States, both past and present. It is the exploration of all things Americana: revolutions, institutions, transformations, religion, race, gender, sexuality, fine arts, popular culture, baseball, apple pie, artifacts, values, customs, ideals, and everyday experience.

The field of American Studies really emerged toward the end of the Great Depression and, especially, after World War II. At first, it focused on national identity, national character, and on exploring the history of thoroughly American cultural concepts like the frontier, the American dream, and rugged individualism. These days, American Studies departments tend to focus more on race, class, gender, ethnicity, and other multicultural issues.

American Studies is an interdisciplinary field. Translation: if it's your major, you are likely to end up taking courses in a variety of disciplines including (but certainly not limited to) history, English, art history, architecture, social sciences, and geography.

What can you do with a major in American Studies? Just like with any liberal arts major, you can do virtually anything. A major in American Studies will mold you into a skilled cultural critic, and it will enhance your abilities to think, write, speak, and do research - all of which will take you far.


  • African American History

  • American Domestic Architecture

  • American Literature Survey

  • American Popular Culture

  • Cultural Criticism

  • Fundamentals of Urban Planning and Design

  • Geography of North America

  • History of Women in America

  • Indians of the American Southwest

  • Race and Ethnicity

  • Religion in American Culture

  • United States Constitutional History

  • United States Social History


American Studies involves lots of writing, reading, analysis, and criticism. American history and English composition courses are important. In addition, you'll probably want (or be required) to take a college-level statistics course, so some math isn't a bad idea. Here is part of what the American Studies department at Bowling Green State University has to say regarding high school preparation: "An open mind, active imagination, and willingness to engage in serious study of the culture that shapes our lives are the strongest prerequisites."