The purpose of the American Studies program at Fairfield University is for students to engage the idea of America as it has been culturally imagined and contested throughout history, both within and beyond U.S. national borders. Students also consider their own place, engagement, and responsibilities as participants in the unfolding narratives of America within a global context. Interdisciplinary in its goal, the program draws from a wide range of courses in the arts, humanities, and social sciences in order to help students develop the ability to read America, in all its manifestations, as a rich and dynamic cultural artifact.
Offered as both a major and minor, our course variety allows you to create your own line of study, or a double major- combining American Studies with a traditional academic discipline - giving you some extra advantages towards future careers in business, law, education, public service or graduate studies.
Requirements for Major:
For a 30 credit major (10 courses) in American Studies, students must complete the following:
Majors may take AS 350: Internship (3 credits) as one of their 10 courses
Requirements for Minor:
For a 15-credit minor (5 courses) in American Studies, students must complete the following:
Fairfield University also offers a Master of Arts degree in American Studies. The 400-level core and elective courses in that program are available to qualified senior undergraduate American studies majors and minors with approval of the program director.
See American Studies course descriptions from our catalog for more information
American Studeies Gateway Courses
Expression and Imagination in American Culture
Power, Politics, and Institutions in America
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in American Society
Gender in American Society
Values and Ethics in American Culture
America and the World
If you've ever wondered if a particular career is a good fit for you, internships are a terrific way to find out. Academic credit and noncredit internships are available to Fairfield students in every field and offer hands-on, professional experience at leading companies throughout the region.
The 6th Annual American Studies Conference: Memory and Nation in American Studies
March 24, 2017
12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Aloysius P. Kelley Center Presentation Room
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Ladino, PhD - University of Idaho
"Memorials Matter: Monumental Affects and Emotional Environments in American Culture"
Attesting to the robustness of the graduate and undergraduate programs at Fairfield University, this annual conference explores the theme of “Memory and Nation in American Studies”—politically, culturally, socially—in past and present U.S. history.
The 5th Annual Conference: The Divided States of America
March 25, 2017
Keynote Speaker: David Roediger, PhD - Kansas University
"What is the White in White Working Class"
The 4th Annual Conference: Family, Sex and Gender in American Culture
March 19, 2016
Round table discussion: "The Politics of Family, Sex, and Gender and What It Means — or Doesn't — For the Elections of 2016"
The 3rd Annual Conference: Race, Protest, and American Culture
March 28, 2015
Keynote speaker: Nicholas Meriwether, Founding Grateful Dead archivist, McHenry Library, University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC)
"Archiving the Counterculture and Raising the Dead: The Grateful Dead Archive and the Legacy of the Sixties"
The 2nd Annual 'Celebrating American Studies' Conference
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Keynote Speaker: Carla L. Peterson, University of Maryland, College Park
"Black Cosmopolitanism and the Reshaping of African American Local and National Identities (1830-1910)
The 1st Annual 'Celebrating American' Studies Conference:
Sunday, April 21, 2013
From the Black Panthers and Nixon to Obama and the Tea Party: Interpretingthe "Post" of "Post-Civil Rights"
Keynote Speaker: Matthew Jacobson, President of the American Studies Association and the William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University
American Studies majors follow no single path after graduation. Many go on to medical school and doctoral programs in literature and political science, while other pre-law students who have majored in American Studies have earned admission to such law schools as:
Other recent graduates have gone on to careers in:
Learn more about how Fairfield's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.
The American Studies program at Fairfield University engages students in the idea of America as it has been culturally imagined and contested throughout history, both within and beyond U.S. national borders. As part of this engagement, the program explores the idea of America within cultural contexts such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, legal status, environment, and class. At the same time, the program challenges students to think about the processes by which these contexts have shaped America and its identities. Students also consider their own place, engagement, and responsibilities as participants in the unfolding narratives of America within a global context.
An interdisciplinary course of study, the program draws from a wide range of courses in the arts, humanities, and social sciences to help students develop the ability to read America, in all its rich and dynamic manifestations. As part of Fairfield University’s mission, the American Studies program seeks to develop students’ unique abilities and potential and to cultivate a broader commitment to social justice through their exploration of American culture.
The Humanities Institute’s Center for Teaching American Studies brings together secondary education teachers and Fairfield University faculty to explore the dynamic and interdisciplinary field of American Studies. Our expert faculty offers a wide range of collaborative, 1-2 hour workshops covering an array of historical subject matter from Women’s Rights, slavery, and religious freedom, to pop music, American art, and the 20th century space race.
The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the dedicated members of our American Studies Program.