American Studies

An innovative department with 12 core faculty and 20 affiliated faculty members, American Studies teaches interdisciplinary cultural analysis with approaches from anthropology, architectural history, art history, English, film studies, folk life, geography, media studies, history, performance studies and political theory. Undergraduate studies focus on politics and culture, especially issues of religion, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Students make global connections with the African Diaspora, the Middle East and Latin America. 

Related Majors, Minors, and Concentrations

Related majors are English, history, international affairs, media and public affairs, political science and women’s studies. Minors include Africana studies and film studies. American Studies is part of the humanities concentration.

What can I expect to learn in the American Studies program at GW?

Students learn theories of culture and how to analyze an array of cultural forms, from YouTube to urban spaces to policy documents. They do this through critical reading, thinking and clear analytic writing.

What is the American Studies community like at GW?

The American studies community nurtures intellectual life, with regular presentations of faculty and student research, lectures by outstanding scholars and partnerships with national cultural and research centers.

What can I do in the American Studies field?

Students have achieved success in professions from law to nonprofit advocacy, in culturally focused productions—from film to the Web—and in the management of cultural resources, from museums to historic sites.  

Cultural Connections

To support public history/public culture and material culture interests, the American Studies Department maintains close ties with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Park Service and other government agencies and museums.

Admissions Blog

Want to know what it's like to be a GW student? Read the blogs of some of our current students!