American Studies, BA

What is America? What is the American experience? How do the answers to these questions vary depending on who is being asked? Learn to think deeply and critically about these questions and about the role of the U.S. in matters near and far.

Program Description

The BA program in American studies bridges multiple disciplinary approaches to explore the diverse cultures, global impact, social systems, gendered experiences, socioeconomic realities and political thought of the United States. The field of American studies centers an understanding of diversity in U.S. society; understanding of how the U.S. national community represents and imagines itself; understanding of how this resonates globally; and understanding the role of social movements seeking to achieve political, legal and economic change.

The program trains students in the history and trajectory of the field of American studies; explorations of racial literacy, gender, sexuality and socioeconomic experiences grounded in historical contexts that help in understanding contemporary U.S. populations; critical methodologies, including how alternative voices are key in research, politics and policy, and social justice work; applied research methods, particularly those that involve community involvement and engagement; and the use of storytelling and narratives to represent diverse communities and facilitate broader understanding across groups.

In addition to the guidelines in the Concurrent Program Options section below, students interested in pursuing concurrent or second baccalaureate degrees in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are advised to visit the college's website for more information and requirements.

Required Courses (Major Map)

Major Map

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What if: See how your courses can be applied to another major and find out how to change your major.

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: Yes
  • Second Language Requirement: Yes
  • First Required Math Course: MAT 142 - College Mathematics
  • Math Intensity: General program math intensity general

Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission

Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site:

Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to for information about how to change a major to this program.

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Affording College

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Financial aid

Career Outlook

Graduates are prepared for careers in policy, education and teaching, urban planning, sustainability, socio-political movements, environmental impacts, advocacy, nonprofit organizations, government, journalism, law and justice, public safety and health. This degree program is also well suited for pairing with other professional degrees that prepare students for these careers.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Community Specialist

  • Growth: 6.5%
  • Median Salary*: $47,290
  Bright Outlook

Cultural Studies Professor

  • Growth: 3.9%
  • Median Salary*: $80,910
  Bright Outlook

English Professor

  • Growth: 1.2%
  • Median Salary*: $74,280


  • Growth: 3.1%
  • Median Salary*: $64,540

History Professor

  • Growth: 1.3%
  • Median Salary*: $79,400

Library Media Specialist

  • Growth: 3.0%
  • Median Salary*: $61,660

Market Research Analyst

  • Growth: 13.4%
  • Median Salary*: $68,230
  Bright Outlook

Middle School Teacher

  • Growth: 0.8%
  • Median Salary*: $61,810

News Reporter

  • Growth: -3.3%
  • Median Salary*: $55,960


  • Growth: 3.4%
  • Median Salary*: $48,090

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.