American Studies at Hillsdale College broadens a student’s understanding of American thought and culture through three component areas: American History, American Literature, and American Politics. The aim is a disciplined synthesis of knowledge, an intellectual process whereby the student conducts intensive study with considerable flexibility.
American Studies is also not pursued in isolation from parallel influences. An interdisciplinary focus requires a concentration on the problems of diffusion, and the transmission of ideas from one culture to another. To that end, American Studies at Hillsdale College is firmly set within the context of Western civilization and the American example of self-government under law.
Note: This represents a general overview of the major and minor. For more information, please consult the current college catalog, or contact the department.
American Studies Major
Students who wish to complete a major in American Studies must complete 36 semester hours of credit with no fewer than 24 hours in courses carrying 300 numbers or above.
Required courses include:
- Interdisciplinary Studies 300: Introduction to American Studies: “‘We the People’: An American Journey”
- Interdisciplinary Studies 575: Looking Backward: Fifty Years of American History
The American Studies curriculum is concentrated in three departmental component areas and one elective component area. The departmental areas are American History, American Literature and American Politics. The majority of the American Studies electives’ curriculum is drawn from these areas.
Majors will elect nine-hour concentrations in two of the areas and a six-hour concentration in the remaining area.
The remaining curriculum area consists of two three-hour electives from Art, Journalism, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Theatre and Speech.
American Studies majors must prepare a senior thesis. Majors also must complete a written comprehensive examination.
American Studies Minor
A minor in American Studies consists of 21 hours: Interdisciplinary Studies 300 and two three-hour courses each from American History, American Literature and American Politics.