The American Studies Program at Vanderbilt offers students a chance to explore the diverse groups, cultures, histories, and experiences that make up the U.S. from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. The major offers a broad grounding in the study of the United States by integrating a rich array of materials, themes, and approaches from many fields—historical and literary study, visual studies, musicology, film and media, gender and sexuality, economics, religious studies, philosophy, sociology, political science, communication, and African American studies. It also encourages students to view the U.S. from international, cross-cultural, and comparativist perspectives. The program provides students with rigorous training in the methods of interdisciplinary work while also allowing them the flexibility to pursue their own intellectual interests and goals. It also emphasizes the importance of experiential learning.
The American Studies program combines the advantages of a small, individualized program with the broad resources of a leading university. Through its innovative course offerings, careful advising system, and special events (such as our Road Trip series), the program creates an exciting intellectual community among students and faculty that goes beyond the classroom.